One of the Canadian stereotypes that is very prevalent is the use of ‘eh’. I notice it all the time and it takes every muscle and bone in my body to ignore it.
Lately though I’ve been hearing a difference in the phrase. Some people say ‘eh’ and some people say ‘hey’. They use it in the exact same manner as “eh” but it seems less Canadian. For example someone would say, “There’s a lot of moose out here, hey?” I don’t know what kind of trickery they are going for with that one, but I know that its the equivalent of saying ‘eh’. I do not approve.
The phrase ‘eh’ is basically a not-so-clever way to force people to agree with you. Just pop that on the end of a sentence, and people have to say “yeah, eh!” It’s like an unwritten rule. You could probably say really gutsy things and get away with it because it’s disguised with ‘eh’. You could say, “Your baby is pretty ugly, eh?” and the parent would most likely smile and say “Yep, she sure is!”
I’m all for getting people to agree with me but I feel like I’m past the point where I have to ask “right?” after everything I say. Certain east coast relatives of mine still feel the need to ask that after LITERALLY every sentence. It’s not attractive. After a while one is compelled to say “Nope. Wrong. Shuddup.” When a phrase urges the acknowledgement of comprehension, agreement, and interest, it just seems so forceful.
I am guilty of saying “ya know?” after a lot of my thoughts. But I feel like it gives people room to say, “No, I don’t know.” Whereas ‘eh’ just kind of leaves one unable to respond with anything other than “yeah.”
I’ve gotta hand it to Canadians. They’ve found a way for people to always agree with anything they say. It’s a good method for brainwashing.