The other day, as I sat at lunch, I met a fellow American. (OK, so I am trying to become Irish but my passport still says USA.) He said that his advice to people who can recognize the North American accent but want to ascertain which country someone is from is to ask if the person in question is Canadian. From this question there are 3 possible responses which will very quickly pigeonhole the person.
- They will be Canadian and ever so grateful that they were identified as such. A brilliant friendship may be in the offing here.
- They will be American but not insulted, and in fact may find it humorous to be identified as a Canadian. A good humor laugh may ensue.
- They will be the prototypical ugly American and go “postal”, hurling epithets and generally ruining any chance of reasoned conversation.
Using this technique our enquiring person can quickly determine where the person in question is from and whether or not they might wish to pursue a friendship. Simple really.