O Canada, you are so polite.

Unable to sleep last night, I surfed the TV airwaves, alighting upon a SWAT-style police drama that within milliseconds revealed itself to be a Canadian effort.

Flashpoint centres on the work of the fictional “Strategic Response Unit” of the Toronto Police, and it’s the usual funky combat fatigues, helmets, goggles, kneepads, assault rifles, pockets bristling with kit and appalling plotlines fare. What distinguishes Flashpoint from any number of US equivalents is the dialogue, and the distinction is subtle.

In America Major, face-to-face encounters between emergency responder heroes and armed villains go something along the lines of…

“Put the gun down or I’ll blow your head off!”

In Canada it’s pretty much the same, only prefixed with “Please…”. It makes a world of difference.