Author Topic: Yup, Keanu is Canadian  (Read 9183 times)

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DottyG

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2012, 05:22:42 PM »
Ok ok!  I stand corrected already! :)


Sharnita

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2012, 06:59:38 PM »
I was confused about the thread title as well.  Is that a jab at Americans?  ???

I think it's a reference to the well-known stereotype that Canadians are super-polite. I don't understand how it could be a jab at Americans?

As in -" he is polite so obviously he is Canadian and not American".  The other side of that whole stereotype seems to be that Americans are rude.  I found the reference to the stereotype a bit interesting myself.

Smitty

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2012, 07:16:11 PM »
Hmm, as a Canadian I can say that my experience of the stereotype has been that ingrained politeness is considered part of our national character; the impulse to apologize when someone bumps into you, for example. It's like drinking beer, loving hockey, Saying "eh," and wearing toques: stereotypically Canadian. It's not something that's used to put down other cultures, by saying we are more polite than other countries or cultures, or that other cultures/countries are rude. Our Canadian identity exists independently of the USA, and saying "Canadians are <insert broad generalization about Canadians>" doesn't mean that people from other countries can't also be <broad generalization>. So when I say "Canadians are polite" I certainly am not implying that Americans are not. I'm surprised that I can't ascribe a positive attribute to Canadians without people assuming that I must be insulting Americans because I don't also specifically say "but not more polite than Americans! Americans are also polite!"

Shoo

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2012, 07:26:23 PM »
Hmm, as a Canadian I can say that my experience of the stereotype has been that ingrained politeness is considered part of our national character; the impulse to apologize when someone bumps into you, for example. It's like drinking beer, loving hockey, Saying "eh," and wearing toques: stereotypically Canadian. It's not something that's used to put down other cultures, by saying we are more polite than other countries or cultures, or that other cultures/countries are rude. Our Canadian identity exists independently of the USA, and saying "Canadians are <insert broad generalization about Canadians>" doesn't mean that people from other countries can't also be <broad generalization>. So when I say "Canadians are polite" I certainly am not implying that Americans are not. I'm surprised that I can't ascribe a positive attribute to Canadians without people assuming that I must be insulting Americans because I don't also specifically say "but not more polite than Americans! Americans are also polite!"

I think the problem is that this stereotype is one that only Canadians seem to recognize.  I have never heard that Canadians are exceptionally polite.  Didn't realize they were known for it.  But you should definitely be able to compliment your fellow Canadians without Americans feeling insulted.  I'm with you on that!

Smitty

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2012, 07:34:18 PM »
Oh, definitely - trying to define our national identity is our national past-time, and the "polite" thing is always part of the conversation. Google "Canadians are polite" and you will get multiple (Canadian) media references discussing it.

Sharnita

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2012, 07:43:42 PM »
Hmm, as a Canadian I can say that my experience of the stereotype has been that ingrained politeness is considered part of our national character; the impulse to apologize when someone bumps into you, for example. It's like drinking beer, loving hockey, Saying "eh," and wearing toques: stereotypically Canadian. It's not something that's used to put down other cultures, by saying we are more polite than other countries or cultures, or that other cultures/countries are rude. Our Canadian identity exists independently of the USA, and saying "Canadians are <insert broad generalization about Canadians>" doesn't mean that people from other countries can't also be <broad generalization>. So when I say "Canadians are polite" I certainly am not implying that Americans are not. I'm surprised that I can't ascribe a positive attribute to Canadians without people assuming that I must be insulting Americans because I don't also specifically say "but not more polite than Americans! Americans are also polite!"

I am assuming you have read the thread here that have specifically compared Americans unfavorably to Canadians in these terms over the years.

Smitty

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2012, 08:10:32 PM »
Hmm, as a Canadian I can say that my experience of the stereotype has been that ingrained politeness is considered part of our national character; the impulse to apologize when someone bumps into you, for example. It's like drinking beer, loving hockey, Saying "eh," and wearing toques: stereotypically Canadian. It's not something that's used to put down other cultures, by saying we are more polite than other countries or cultures, or that other cultures/countries are rude. Our Canadian identity exists independently of the USA, and saying "Canadians are <insert broad generalization about Canadians>" doesn't mean that people from other countries can't also be <broad generalization>. So when I say "Canadians are polite" I certainly am not implying that Americans are not. I'm surprised that I can't ascribe a positive attribute to Canadians without people assuming that I must be insulting Americans because I don't also specifically say "but not more polite than Americans! Americans are also polite!"

I am assuming you have read the thread here that have specifically compared Americans unfavorably to Canadians in these terms over the years.

I'm not familiar with that thread (or I've forgotten it) - could you post a link or give me an idea of what it might be called? I'll check it out! TIA.

Surianne

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2012, 08:12:12 PM »
Hmm, as a Canadian I can say that my experience of the stereotype has been that ingrained politeness is considered part of our national character; the impulse to apologize when someone bumps into you, for example. It's like drinking beer, loving hockey, Saying "eh," and wearing toques: stereotypically Canadian. It's not something that's used to put down other cultures, by saying we are more polite than other countries or cultures, or that other cultures/countries are rude. Our Canadian identity exists independently of the USA, and saying "Canadians are <insert broad generalization about Canadians>" doesn't mean that people from other countries can't also be <broad generalization>. So when I say "Canadians are polite" I certainly am not implying that Americans are not. I'm surprised that I can't ascribe a positive attribute to Canadians without people assuming that I must be insulting Americans because I don't also specifically say "but not more polite than Americans! Americans are also polite!"

I am assuming you have read the thread here that have specifically compared Americans unfavorably to Canadians in these terms over the years.

??  Not everyone reads every thread -- I've been here several years and have never come across those threads.  I wouldn't have had any idea this was a sensitive topic and considered an insult by Americans on the boards. 

Let's assume the OP hasn't read whatever thread(s) you're referring to, and wasn't deliberately trying to insult Americans, either -- especially since Americans weren't mentioned at all in the original post. 

I agree with everything Smitty said. 

Sharnita

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2012, 08:30:31 PM »
I believe there are a few threads about tourists, tourist etiquette, bad tourist stories.  I recall explanations that of course people wear Canadian flags because Canadians are known to be more polite than AMericans.  I had it explained ot me that Canadians are appreciated by Europeans because the Canadians helped them during the war (never really understood that one).  I think a few threads have ended up locked.

Smitty

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2012, 08:41:02 PM »
I'm getting the sense that this is a sore spot for you. :( I don't really understand how American tourists pretending to be Canadian while abroad translates into the OP is insulting all Americans by saying that Keanu Reeves is a stereotypically polite Canadian, and I don't think there is anything I can say that will convince you.

kherbert05

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2012, 09:47:08 PM »
I'm both (sort of) - I don't take the title as a slam against Americans. Both groups tend to make fun of themselves.


Honestly I've never found Canadians more polite on average than Americans. To be more precise I've never found Islanders more polite than Texans. They both have the it is better to be born here attitude (From away for Islanders, other US citizens being jokingly called foreigners for Texas).


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Smitty

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2012, 09:52:32 PM »
So, if this event had occurred on the Tube instead of the NY subway, and the OP had made the exact same post with the same title, you would have assumed it was a back-handed way of insulting the English?

Why can't it be "He did something polite. He's a Canadian! That explains it." The fact that he was in the US at the time is irrelevant to the thread title.

Jeez, Americans, it's not always all about you.
Too soon? :P

Surianne

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2012, 09:59:44 PM »
One last try:

No one is saying or has said that Canadians are better than Americans.  The OP didn't even mention Americans, and she probably had no idea this was a big issue on the boards.  I was clueless, myself.   

Wouldn't the polite thing to do here be to give her the benefit of the doubt on this one?   

What's more likely, that the OP made a bit of a joke in her thread title about the stereotypes associated with Canadian celebrities (riding public transit, being polite)?  Or that she thought it was a good idea to deliberately insult Americans on an American messageboard, in a thread title, no less, right where the mods could see it? 

Just some thoughts; take them or leave them as you see fit. 

(I see Smitty posted while I was typing -- I agree.)

penelope2017

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2012, 10:11:59 PM »
So, if this event had occurred on the Tube instead of the NY subway, and the OP had made the exact same post with the same title, you would have assumed it was a back-handed way of insulting the English?

Why can't it be "He did something polite. He's a Canadian! That explains it." The fact that he was in the US at the time is irrelevant to the thread title.

Jeez, Americans, it's not always all about you.
Too soon? :P

I can honestly say that I really don't care and I'm not remotely insulted, but surely you can see it from the US point of view. He did something nice while in the U.S. and "He's a Canadian, that explains it" as per your comment above stands to reason that obviously he's not native U.S. I certainly don't think the OP meant to disparage the U.S., but the wording of the title can easily be interpreted that way.

And I have never heard any sort of stereotype that Canadians are extra polite, which may be part of the misinterpretation. Maybe it is general stereotype among Canadians but I couldn't figure out the title of this thread either. Just something to be aware of.

Smitty

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Re: Yup, Keanu is Canadian
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2012, 10:27:08 PM »
Even if it wasn't a jab at Americans, why is it necessary to mention his nationality?

That guy is a real hard worker. He's Mexican! That explains it.

That girl is really smart. She's Chinese! That explains it.

I just don't think its necessary and can be insulting. I had a friend make a joke about this at work once. I had cleaned the room and he came in and said what a great job I did at cleaning. Then he said "well, you're Mexican, of course you did a good job cleaning". I didn't take it seriously, because we joke like that, but if anyone else had said it I would have questioned it.

Exactly!

As all the Canadian posters who have chimed in on this thread have said, it's a well-known stereotype (amongst Canadians, anyway). It's not a stereotype based in ethnicity or used to discriminate against an identifiable group, it's more along the lines of saying that Canadians love hockey. I expect the OP was simply pointing out that, hey! Keanu Reeves is conforming to a known stereotype! That's mildly amusing! The OP's error, if any, was in assuming that the joke would translate outside of Canada. However, it seems that some are determined to be offended and to ascribe the worst intentions possible to the OP. Very well, let the war of 1812 (part deux) commence!