Sunday, September 24, 2006

O Canada!

Well here we are in Toronto at the rectory at St. Peter's. Feels like I've gone across the pond and am at an English vicarage, with all these old-style stone buildings (yes, photos will be forthcoming of course). I've been put in a tiny room with the beer fridge. Heh. :-)

The drive was uneventful, the border crossing smooth. This is going to be a short visit ... I believe Tuesday morning we hit the road again for the Atlantic Ocean, all the way to Boston. [It's a little infuriating how little time has been scheduled for Toronto. One day, which will be spent listening to various priests, and that's it. Oh well -- I'm not in charge anymore! :-)]

Well, that's obviously not Canada. Somewhere in Michigan where we stopped to fill up. The clouds today were just fantastic.

Going over the Blue Water Bridge at Port Huron MI/Sarnia ON

Looking south from the Blue Water bridge.

The Canadian side. [Yes, we hid the camera before getting to the window :) And no, it didn't seem to matter that the two brown guys -- Rene and yours truly -- were sitting upfront :-p)

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assiniboine said...

Forgive the pedantry, but you're a Latinist so I'm sure you won't mind. It's the vocative case, so "O Canada" (ie "O Canada, our home and native land,/true patriot love in all thy sons command," which is to say, "O Canada, yoo-hoo! Do command (why don't you?) true patriot love in all thy sons." "Oh Canada" is reserved by commentators such as the late Mordecai Richler for the context of exasperation: "Oh Canada, for heaven's sake, whatever do you think you're doing now?"

assiniboine said...

(I suppose if one were really to be pedantic my paraphrase should be, "why dost thou not?" come to think of it.) Lucky you to be in terrific Toronto. Has anyone explained to you how to pronounce it? I was in the land title office in a tiny little place three hours' drive south of Lahore in West Punjab, specially taken to meet the registrar, who had recently returned from graduate study at the University of Toronto. I of course exclaimed over this and asked where in Toe-RON-toe he had lived; he responded, "Ahem. It's plain to see that you are no native! The correct pronunciation is Tronna." And so it is.

Gashwin said...

Hardly pedantic! You're quite right about the vocative and the correction has been made ...

However, as I'm leaving, I just might be tempted to exclaim, "Oh Canada" :)

Tell me, do they still sing "true patriot love in all thy sons command?" or has some toturous gender-neutral translation been devised?

assiniboine said...

They do, but a few of the rather monotonous "we stand on guard for thee"s have been replaced with other filler. Actually if they were just to use verse 2 instead of the ponderous and meaningless verse 1; but then I suppose national anthems never make a great deal of sense.

"O Canada, where pines and maples grow
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow
How dear to us thy broad domain
From east to western sea
Thou land of hope for all who toil
Thou true north strong and free.

God keep our land glorious and free
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee."