Saturday, 2 February 2008

Canadian words

I've got a new word to add to my list of official words that everybody up here knows but I've never heard before. These don't include words on 'everyone else''s list of Canadianisms, and in fact I've looked all these up in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (edited by my very good friend--in the sense that we've eaten a social meal together and I have her e-mail and she actually responds to things I send her--Katherine Barber) and each is listed as 'Can & Br'. So technically these aren't Canadiansims so much as non-Amer.-isms. But here we go.

The new one: "scrutineer" Apparently some kind of officer overseeing elections. Just got a thing saying that X Y and Z were elected to whatever committees for terms ending, and by the way, the scrutineers for this election were A B and C. I'm told that in provincial elections, every party is entitled to place a 'scrutineer' at the ballot count. As ballots are pulled, they're displayed to the scrutineers who jointly decide whether the ballot is valid or defective, and who was voted for. I think in these commitee/union things the scrutineers also stand over the ballot boxes making sure no one tampers with the ballots as they go in, travel with the ballot boxes making sure no one tampers with them until they get to the place where they will be counted, and then, I suppose, they scrutinize the ballots as they come out of the box.

So that's my new word. Previous words on this list include 'personation' (which where I come from is "impersonation", although I've never heard of female 'personator', in the sense of a 'female impersonator'. Personation is, well, fraud by impersonation, I guess. Also 'invigilator', which is basically a scrutineer for examination rooms, what I would call a 'proctor'. As in 'I need a couple of proctors to watch the room during my final exam'. Which I guess in Canada would be 'I need a couple of invigilators to invigilate (for) my final exam, eh?'

I only have one such word from Wisconsin, which is 'employe'. Which is Wisconsin for "employee". Every official document I ever saw in Wisconsin talked about 'employes'. Apparently either a) someone thought the 'ee' suffix was sexist, or b) somebody realised the cents per year that could be saved by not typing or printing extraneous 'e's. Presumable offset by the cost of having to go through everything removing extraneous e's, which aren't really extraneous, but whatever.

Oh, Mental Health and Goal Setting Thursdays are now going to be Mental Health and Goal Setting Tuesdays. Which means that mid-week updates will occur on Fridays or Saturdays, which is when I seem to be getting around to doing them anyway.

1 comment:

Sky Onosson said...

I would just like to thank you for rearranging your mental health and personal goals in order to accomodate my new job!