I haven’t lost my Canadian accent. But when alone, I have been trying to pick up a New Zealand accent for a few reasons:
- I need to prove that I learned something down here;
- I need to impress friends and family with my linguistic prowess when I get home;
- The cute foreigner angle impresses Kiwi birds;
- The extra material will be helpful for flirting back home;
- I think it would be a neat souvenir.
The accent isn’t entirely perfect. I think I sound like an impersonator of my boss most of the time, and when I don’t sound like a planner impersonator I think I sound like a person who is faking a New Zealand accent.
My only alternative is to pick up some slang. And the last few weeks have been very good weeks for picking up slang. One particular example that I think has been getting worse (in that I have heard it more lately than ever before) is what I call…
…The Incomplete Simile.
Similes are comparison statements. My dog is cute as a button. The Blue Jays are hitting like my minor league baseball team from 1995. I run like a fat gazelle. Seeing the Senators knocked out of the playoffs is as sweet as the Leafs actually getting to the playoffs. The New Zealand twist is to not complete the simile. In effect, this turns the phrase into a superlative. It doesn’t work with the “like” phrases though, only the “as”.
Using the Senators sucks example above, dropping the conclusion gets you “Seeing the Senators knocked out was sweet as”. The Maggie line becomes “My dog is cute as.”
Makes sense, eh?
The most common examples of The Incomplete Simile I have heard are:
- Sweet as (measure of awesomeness);
- Easy as (simplicity);
- Cheap as (cost), with a full on statement being “Cheap as chips”;
- Slow as (time for delivery or receipt of something);
- Wet as (pretty straightforward);
- Fat as (pretty straightforward);
- Hungry as (a common one for me);
- Tired as, sleepy as (also a common one for me);
Although this approach to slang seems to have worked for me in almost every circumstance possible. Perhaps that is more a function of my coworkers and associates being accommodating as, but I reckon (“reckon” being the everyday replacement for “think”) I may be on to something here.
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