Here is an interesting phenomenon I’ve noticed of late.
Why is it that when English Canadian journalists (and most anglophones for that matter) refer to Québec, they invariably talk about the French culture and the French people?
Excuse me, but what French culture? Which French people?
The last time I looked we were in Québec, not France. This is Québec culture. The people here are Québecois.
Yet it’s a common and persistent mistake made by the press. Over and over again.
In Québec the official language is French, therefore the people are French? The culture is French?
Going by this rationale, then, all English Canadians speak English, therefore their culture is English?
If you suggested such a thing to a Canadian, they would, I’m sure, be outraged and appalled.
Am I missing something here? Are journalists trying to dumb it down for their readers? Simplify things a bit?
Or are they being deliberately obtuse?
Frankly, I find it bizarre.
Imagine the outcry in New Zealand if some journalist wrote, “Gosh, you English are clever, aren’t you? And isn’t your culture quaint?” Or worse: “Gee, you Australians are quite something…”
They would be hounded out of the country so fast, they wouldn’t know if they were coming or going.
How is it any different here?
It seems to me to be something of a cultural blindspot for English Canadians.
And an ignorance that is both peculiar and disappointing, from a country that is commonly held up to the rest of the world as an exemplar of tolerance and sensitivity.