Good News

Canadians have moved on from ‘eh,’ you know

Good News

This is a good-news story for some, and a sad one for others. It's the end of an era. The kids are no longer saying "eh."

The National Post reports that "eh" is on the decline among young Canadians. They're more likely to say "right," "and stuff" and "you know" at the end of a sentence than the one-word phrase that has been the Canadian stereotype for decades.

"Eh is this quintessential thing that we think of as being so Canadian," Sali Tagliamonte, a linguist at the University of Toronto, tells the National Post.

"In Toronto, and I would expect other cities like Ottawa and Vancouver … there's a massive decline in the use of 'eh.' My kids don't use it. They just don't. They use something else."

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She says there have been "incredible shifts" in language across the 20th century. For example: "Really fast" became "very fast" and is now "so fast."

"Language is a complex, adaptive system," Tagliamonte says. "That's what I do. I model the variability in that amazing, complex system. It's even more complex than most systems because it involves human beings."

If you still need your dose of "eh," head to rural areas — or watch Bob and Doug.

"The greatest thing about my work on Northern Ontario is that a lot of things that have died out in the city are still being used," Tagliamonte adds.

This summer, Maclean's listed Canadianisms that help us stand out from our neighbours south of the border.

We may not say "eh" anymore, but we still like our "pop" and "double doubles."

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