For generations, “eh” has played a pivotal role in stereotypical Canadian language. However, the status quo seems to be changing quickly, at least in Toronto.
This, at least, is the result U of T professor Sali Tagliamonte’s recent linguistics study. Tagliamonte interviewed 214 native Torontonians aged eight to 92. After analyzed the recordings based on age groups and gender, Tagliamonte identified a significant linguistic generation gap. “There’s a veritable revolution going on,” says the professor. One of the changes is the phase-out of “eh” among the young people. Instead, the good old Canadian stereotype is being replaced by “right.” Unbelievable, eh?
The use of “like” has also become more popular. When telling a story, the grandmas still say, “she said, then he said,” but the grandkids are more like, “she’s like, and he’s like.” The younger generation has also developed a habit of using intensifiers. One will not be surprised hear comments such as “OMG that movie was so good, like so, so amazing” while walking out of a theatre full of teenagers.
This study is just so funny, right? You can find more about it here.
With files from the Toronto Star and the National Post