No, I find this idiosyncrasy odd

I have a friend at work who starts every response to a question with “No”.

“What did you have for lunch today?”
“No, I had a sandwich.”

“Are you going to the meeting this afternoon?”
“No, yeah I’m heading over at around 2.”

“What’s your favourite colour?”
“No, green.”

There’s another person at work who does this on occasion, though not as frequently as my friend. They both happen to be Italian, I don’t know if that has anything to do with it.

Does anyone else know anyone who does this? Anyone have any idea why?

No, I have no idea why.

What? What?!? Someone had to do it!

Do you mean Italian as in citizenship and place of birth or do you mean heritage? Where did they grow up?

Sorry I didn’t specify. Both were born and raised in Toronto, Canada, to parents who were born and raised in Italy.

Obviously, the voices are answering “Yes” to every question asked, and the person has to correct them.

“What’s your favourite color?”
“No, green.”

Toronto eh? Well that blows my theory out of the water.

hee hee :smiley:

Have you asked this person why s/he does this? I mean in a friendly, gentle way, of course.

Could this be a variation of “Ummm”?

Oh Canadians only think they say eh alot.

Kiwis are the kings of eh…ok! yes! it is a bad thing!

Is your friend pessimistic?

Because my BiL answers all questions with a ‘yes!’…

“How are you?”

“Yes! I’m fine thanks.”

…and he’s one of the most positive people I know.

I have a friend from South Africa, apparently they do it there too, as in…

Do you want to go to the park?
No, yeah!

… meaning yes. Those South Africans…

And by the way, I’m from Canada and my friends and I almost never say “eh”. It’s a stereotype like the Japanese sumo wrestler or the tall Swede.

Maybe it is “know” and is short for something like, “I acknowledge that you have requested information, and I feel that I have the necessary understanding and knowledge to answer it.” Sort of in the way that “my bad” means “I have erred in my duties to respect etiquette or the performance of some task with which I was tasked; please accept my deepest apology.”

Perhaps through life experience your friend has learned that it is best to categorically deny every request, as it helps to prevent others from running off half-cocked, spreading havoc pell mell across the country side.

One time, at the university library, as we were waiting for a ride, a woman approached us and asked, “Were you guys up on the third floor?” “Yes,” we replied. “I am not a dyke!!” she shouts at us and charges into a long, screaming monologue about how she can run the four-thousand meter in such-and-such time and that not all atheletes are dykes. Sobbing and in tears she ran from the lobby, hopefully soon to feel the benefits of her cathartic outburst. Interestingly, while we were on the third floor, we hadn’t seen her, nor had we talked about women, sports, or dykes. “Categorically deny everything,” was what one of my friends concluded.

That’s a true story.

I apologise to Canadians then, but it isn’t a streotype in NZ.

We “eh” all over the place. Usually it means “pardon what was that you said?” or “you agree with me don’t you?” but it can be chucked in just because.

My friend from Japan would start all of her sentences with “maybe.” I assumed it was a filler while she gathered her thoughts.

my sweet Hungarian grandmother used to begin every response with “why” Not asking a question, just putting the word there.

“why, I said to Mary you can’t get that tattoo…”

“why, who’s up for Euchre?”

I chalked it up to English being her fourth language. Possibly the OP’s parents being from Italy - it’s an Old World thing.

AH, we do that a lot in Scotland, too. I had no idea it was considered a stereotype for Cananda, or even NZ for that matter, until I came to the SDMB, but I just sort of assumed, "well, why not, EH? After all, both countries have a fairly significant Scottish expatriate population.

As for the OP, I have never heard that particular speech oddity. I should think it is the kind of thing that might sometimes be irritiating, for instance, on a Monday morning. :frowning:

Reading this made me realise … I do the exact same thing! :o

Funny, it happened to me a few times. When it happened, I was thinking of something else - no, no voices like Ethilrist suggested - and the sudden, quick-fire question got me by surprise. I suppose it was a way for the brain to switch from one subject to the other, but I really have no idea.
I also happen to be Italian, and I have another friend that does this, but I can tell you it’s not really common. Maybe it only happens to the ones with overactive brains…

      • Well it’s really quite simple, you see: in Italian, “no” means “b!0tch”, roughly translated…

(-very roughly-)