Speaking Canadian: Asthma Edition
On a semi-regular basis, I find myself explaining Canadianisms-words or things that are generally used in Canada or specific to Canada, or used in places that are generally Not America. I don’t know why I don’t just find more Canadians on the internet who just understand what I am saying, because they have to be in there, but I do enjoy diversifying myself. Alas, many words I write I have to explain, because they are either tied to our more British English leanings or because they only exist here or have relevance to this frozen tundra on which I live.
I initially intended to make this a full glossary, however, it turned out there were only a few keywords I could think of that are either Canadianisms or hold root in Canada. So, while I wanted to go all Georgia Nicholson here (AKA, from the Louise Rennison books about the said character), in which the American/Canadian print editions contain a glossary to explain Britishisms to all of us who are not Brits and thus not privy to the lingo, it was sadly impractical.
But, there are some fun lessons to be had here from the Canadian POV!
I also apologize to the aforementioned Brits as well, as most of the explaining I have done is to Americans, thus, I will lovingly reference my friends south of the border more than planned. 😉
Speaking Canadian with Asthma
Salbutamol: Dear America, just like the rest of the world uses the metric system, we also use the word salbutamol for what you, and only you I believe, call albuterol. This is moderately ridiculous.
Seriously, people: the Brits invented it, you can’t just rename it!1 (Well, clearly you did, so you “can”, but still. Join us, we have cookies. Or biscuits as they call them across the pond.)
Respirologist: In America, these are known as pulmonologists, and in the UK these are known as asthma consultants. We call them respirologists. They are the same thing. Now, some Canadians have strong feelings over the term respirologist over pulmonologist, although I am not one of them. I suppose it is only fair since we couldn’t decide whether to use pulmonary or respiratory system.
With that said, if you search for Pulmonary System on Google and go to TheFreeDictionary.com, you will end up with a page on the Respiratory System, so at least The Free Dictionary thinks we’re right.1
Montelukast: Montelukast, a leukotriene modifier/receptor antagonist for asthma, branded as Singulair, was developed in Canada, in Montreal. Because there was probably an issue with stamping a maple leaf on the pill itself, they decided to name the drug after Montreal, land of Les Habitants aka the Montreal Canadiens NHL team, poutine, and a vibrant Francophone/French Canadian culture, and so forth. I just made up the part about the maple leaf, though I presume it could be accurate.
As far as I know, flavored not yet made maple nor poutine flavoured Montelukast. (Maple might be okay, poutine, well…)
Are there any words related to asthma unique to where you live? Canadians, did I miss any? Let me know in the comments!