The Word on the Street Is . . . Stage

Stage may look English but it’s not. Well, not exactly. Or is it?

As English usage grows around the globe, what’s considered English is up for debate, and Montreal English is no exception.

In Ontario, the word stage is what you stand on in a theatre and what you do with your house when you want to sell it. In Montreal, stage (rhymes with badge minus the “d”) stands somewhere between school and work, otherwise known as an internship.

The term is so common on the streets of Montreal that you’d be hard-pressed to find an Anglo who would say anything other than “I’m doing a three-month stage.”

Take it one step further and you’ll find many an Anglo who drops the French trappings and pronounces stage like page. I personally enjoy this stage of usage evolution. The French word has been so completely adopted by Anglos that it no longer needs to draw attention to itself with a French pronunciation. It’s just English. Montreal English. Hooray!


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