O Canada! It's a land of snow and sleet, where sunshine only breaks through on days when Justin Bieber plays a concert.
Well ... not exactly.
Canadians are well-used to hearing what other countries believe to be true about our citizens, and while we're happy to take the good (why yes, we are that polite!), we've had just enough of the plain old incorrect. So now, if you don't mind, here are some serious untruths about Canada we've been hearing for far too long.
Let's put this to rest once and for all. The way in which Canadians say "about" comes from our British ancestors, and it's actually way closer to "aboat" than "aboot." According to an interview with linguist Charles Boberg in the Ottawa Citizen, this sound is known as "Canadian raising," and happens when the "ou" comes before sounds that have no vocal cord vibration (or "voiceless" sounds), like "t" in out.
Our Health Care Is Totally Free
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True, most things relating to medical doctors are covered by our universal health care (like check-ups, operations and the like). But there is plenty that isn't covered, like dentistry, medication and alternative medicine (so chiropractors, acupuncture and naturopathy visits come from out of pocket).
Dan Moore via Getty Images
If you're visiting anywhere west (or generally, east) of Quebec in Canada, you really don't need to worry about boning up on your high school French. While the country is technically bilingual, most people speak English as their first language outside of that province. Canadians come from all over, and it's estimated that approximately 200 languages are spoken in the country. In fact, according to the most recent census statistics, it might be more useful to speak Punjabi in many of Canada's major cities.
We Love Justin Bieber/Barenaked Ladies/Celine Dion/Rush
If you don't particularly enjoy any of these artists, imagine how we feel: thanks to something called the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, radio and TV stations must play a certain percentage of content created by Canadians. So you know what that means? If Alanis has a hit, You. Hear. It. Every. Hour.
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