Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Words Reflect Our Culture

TORONTO, June 8, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - We all know that the words toque, poutine and, of course, eh are words rarely used outside of Canada but there are a lot more than you may realize including:

beaver fever (n) Canad. - an infectious disease caused by drinking water that has been contaminated by wildlife

flipper pie (n) Canad. - a Newfoundland pie with a filling of cooked seal flippers

garburator (n) Canad. - a garbage disposal unit installed as part of a kitchen sink

humidex (n) Canad. - a system of measuring discomfort showing the combined effect of humidity and temperature word origin C20: from humid +(in)dex

These words alone exemplify how unique we are as Canadians and why it's essential to have a dictionary that reflects those qualities. Just as importantly, dictionaries act as a record of our language and its constant evolution.

To celebrate the launch of the COLLINS CANADIAN DICTIONARY, HarperCollins and The Globe and Mail are launching The Thousand-Word Short Story Contest. Send us 1,000 words and don't miss your chance to be published in Canada's leading newspaper this summer. The only hitch to this short story contest? You've got to include at least 10 from a list of 40 Canadian words in your work to qualify.

Submissions, which must be in by Canada Day, will be read by a committee and the finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges consisting of:

Tish Cohen, best-selling author of Town House and The Truth About Delilah Blue
Martin Levin, esteemed Books Editor of The Globe and Mail
Iris Tupholme, Publisher of HarperCollins Canada Ltd.

The winning submission will be published in The Globe and Mail. For more details about the contest and to submit your story, visit

With more than 175 years of experience in dictionary publishing, Collins is trusted and relied on by users all over the world. All Collins dictionaries are based on the Collins corpus - a four-billion word corpus of written and spoken English, updated every month, that shows how language is really used today. Among others, Canadian sources include The Globe and Mail, CBC transcripts, and Canadian books of fiction and non-fiction.