In many respects, the spelling of Canadian English is intermediate between British English and American English. However, the spoken language is much closer to American English than British English. It is also influenced by Canadian French, as Canada has two official languages.
A feasible contemporary reference for formal Canadian spelling is the spelling used for Hansard's transcripts of the Canadian Parliament. It is feasible that this authority would not misspell while recording these official proceedings.
However, it also has its own words not found in other variants of English. Like other dialects of English that exist in proximity to francophones French loan words have entered Canadian English, such as the word serviette, meaning "napkin". Another is poutine, a French-Canadian dish created in the 1950s; it is made with home-made french fries and melted cheese curd topped with gravy. It is now offered in many fast-food restaurants in English-speaking parts of Canada. See External links for more information.
In 1998 Oxford University Press produced a Canadian English Dictionary after 5 years of lexicographical research. It listed uniquely Canadian words, words borrowed from other languages and was able to survey whether "colour" or "color" was the most popular choice in common use.
Uniquely Canadian English words include:
- Loonie: The unofficial name for Canada's one-dollar gold-coloured coin carrying an image of a Loon on one side
- Toonie: The unofficial name for Canada's two-dollar coin, the name obviously referring to the number two and the Loonie that pre-dated it
- Garburator: The garbage disposal unit located beneath the drain of a kitchen sink -- a rare appliance in Canada, in contrast with the United States.
Americans can recognize Canadians instantly by their use of the word(?) eh, as in "That was a pretty good movie, eh?"