Welcome to the Wordlady blog!

This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
You can also order my best-selling books, Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to do With Pigs and Only in Canada You Say. Fun and informative!

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Dialect coaches for Silicon Sally

I have long been annoyed by the automated announcements of departing flights in many Canadian airports. The English announcements are made by an American English voice and the French ones by a Continental French voice. It makes one feel like a stranger in one's own country to hear our capital city referred to as "Attawah". On complaining to Air Canada I was told there was no Canadian program available, which I find hard to believe.
I was equally surprised on a recent trip to Minneapolis to discover that the automated voice in the tram between the transit station and the terminal adjured us to stay "cleah of the doohs" in a decidedly British accent.
These computer-generated announcers need a dialect coach!

About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.