The Canadian Alphabet

The Canadian alphabet has 27 letters.

The first 26 letters are exactly the same as 
the 26 we use here, in the United States:
	A, B, C, D, ...
	and so forth, up to "zed"

(We call it "zee", they call it "zed", but it's the same letter,
except that they sometimes put a horizontal line thru "zed".
And also thru the digit, seven.)

After the common 26 letters we agree on,
the Canadians add a 27th letter:
(The question mark.)

Sure, we have a question mark, too.
But for us it's punctuation; in Canada, it's pronunciation.

Neither country pronounces the comma, the period, 
the semicolon, or even the apostrophe.
They affect the timing and/or the inflection of a sentence,
but they are not pronounced.

In Canada, the question-mark is pronounced.
It is pronounced "eh".
Almost like the first lett of the alphabet,
but with a falling then rising inflection.

(Sorta like the fourth "song" in Chinese inflections.
	[In Chinese, the same sound may mean
	4 different things, and have 4 different symbols,
	depending on which "song" it sings.
		ma, ma, ma, ma	- I forget which one means "horse"
		That's why I don't speak Chinese.]
Anyhow, that's enuf about Chinese.  Now back to the Canadian alphabet.

27 letters, A thru zed, then questionmark,
a sickle facing to your left, with a dot underneath.
Unlike Spanish, we don't put another one upside-down,
at the start of a question; only a right-side-up one at the end.

We don't pronounce ours, so it's punctuation.
The Canadians do, so it's really part of their alphabet.

It is pronounced "eh".
If you have to write it, it's "E H".
I don't know how to spell the first letter, "A".	[AYYYYY]
Do you?
Eh?			[EHHHH]

© July 2004, Bruce Alan Martin
Inspired by pp. 518-520 of Harry Turtledove's novel, "The Victorious Opposition".