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message 1: by Mandapanda (last edited Nov 28, 2010 01:22PM) (new)

Mandapanda Several group members have remarked about our unique Aussie language being overtaken by overexposure to American culture in the media. Also some of our authors have had problems with having to edit their books to reflect American english instead of our own. Is this a real concern? What do you think? Here is a great article from The Age newspaper. I also enjoyed the different comments from people responding to the article.

Words Fail Me: A Journey Through Australia's Lost Language
Words Fail Me A Journey Through Australia's Lost Language by Hugh Lunn

(No offence intended to our lovely US group members. This is just an exploration of our own culture!)


message 2: by John (new)

John I have no problem with this discussion, except to say that I found the commenter who so strongly objected to "I'm done" vs. "I'm finished" to be looking for an excuse to complain.

As an aside, having lived in New York City for several years, I automatically use "on line" ("Be prepared to stand on line for at least an hour for a ticket!"), for which I get greatly razzed by other Americans (insisting on "in line").


message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura | 4299 comments Brilliant...Now I know what to get my Mum for Christmas..lol She'll get a good chuckle out of the book.

When it comes to Aussie language...I'm think in some ways it has changed..but I'm a kid from the 80's so some of the terms I read in the article from The Age went right over my head.

I don't just think we have to blame America..I think you've also got to blame the Aussies too..It shows that maybe we, as a culture, is to easily influenced? But also, on the other hand, we are still building up our own culture and it does seem to be changing from that 'true blue' aussie stero type.

I love when chatting online with people around the world and they ask me outright if I've a pet Kangaroo. Sometimes, if you want, you can be really mean and have a great old laugh at their expense cause they believe you. Like you tell em 'We've got pet kangaroos...Sometimes we even take a ride on one of them to get into town.'


message 4: by Janet (new)

Janet | 32 comments John, living in New York, I know what you mean about "on line" vs. "in line"...
I have to agree completely with Mandy. Unfortunately, it is not just Australia; it is practically worldwide. Not just the language is being taken over, but many, many aspects of culture. I find it very disturbing. My Mum is from England, and I have spent years living there. The last time I visited, I was hard pressed to find a proper "tea shop". Now, it is coffee, and more coffee. Everyone speaks of, coffee.That is just one little example.The world is becoming, America. This is one of my pet peeves. I think it is sad, and I do not like it.


message 5: by Janet (new)

Janet | 32 comments Oh, my advice for all you Aussie's is...hold on not only to your language, but, your entire culture.


message 6: by Dee-Ann (new)

Dee-Ann | 644 comments Janet wrote: "Oh, my advice for all you Aussie's is...hold on not only to your language, but, your entire culture."

trickky one this .... I think our culture is basically one of adaptation of different cultures into ours and evolving it into something else, well that is how it is in Darwin. For example, I am more likely to go and get sushi or a yiros for lunch in a minute, as opposed to a pie or sandwich.


message 7: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Janet wrote: "Oh, my advice for all you Aussie's is...hold on not only to your language, but, your entire culture."

Of course if you prefer coffee or sushi, by all means enjoy. But celebrating cultural differences is also important. I love, for example, that this group's Summer Reading Challenge has one category reserved for Celebrate Australia!

Even in the US we mourn the loss of regional differences. Anything we can do to preserve our heritage is a good thing. Diversity = wealth of ideas and other resources.


message 8: by Janet (new)

Janet | 32 comments There is a big difference between "celebrating cultural differences", and being taken over by another culture. I admit that I do not know that much about Australia, or the culture. I am going by what Mandy stated.
The US is the biggest melting pot, in the world. Yes, we have lost some regional differences. Still, in those "regions", we are not being taken over by a single, other entity, that predominates.


message 9: by Dee-Ann (new)

Dee-Ann | 644 comments I think I find it just a bit difficult these days to define what out culture is these days ... like the US we are a big melting pot too.


message 10: by Janet (new)

Janet | 32 comments Dee-Ann>>I can relate to that, and appreciate the melting pot. Shared differences, that others in your culture, or mine can accept, and embrace. As Cheryl said: "coffee or sushi, enjoy". That is all wonderful and fun. You are free to partake or not. Just so long as most things, in all areas of life and culture, do not become "more of another country" than your own.


message 11: by Monya (new)

Monya (monyamary) Mandy wrote: "Several group members have remarked about our unique Aussie language being overtaken by overexposure to American culture in the media. Also some of our authors have had problems with having to edit..."

I'm the same age as Hugh Lunn and my husband, 71, still says "fair dinkum". (It means genuine, when used as an adjective, overseas friends. Put a question mark after it and it means, Is that the truth?) We have the good fortune to live in a small town in a farming community, so still hear plenty of Ozzieisms. That's from the older people, the kids speak American.

As for our books, I've been lucky to use English/Oz spelling so far. The historical is set in the colonial U.S. in 1704, and the contemporary is set in Australia. Don't know if I'll get away with it again, though!


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Strewth! I recon our mob are being taken ova' by the yanks lingo, only ave to look at our nippers, dressin & talkin like bloody New York hoods, should ban those black hoods & dark sunnies, oh! & that silly walk they do (-:

Do you think our language is slowly being taken over.......Bloody oath mate!!


message 13: by Monya (new)

Monya (monyamary) Janet wrote: "John, living in New York, I know what you mean about "on line" vs. "in line"...
I have to agree completely with Mandy. Unfortunately, it is not just Australia; it is practically worldwide. Not just..."


Oh Janet, NO. Hardly a tea-shop in England. That's a tragedy. Somehow I can never imagine the Brits downing a lot of coffee... but then, so do we, nowadays.

Maybe the coffee-drinking is to blame for the British cricket team just giving us a whopping in the First Test. Get them back on tea!


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Now now Monya we didn't exactly receive a whooping. If I recall the result was a disappointing draw.

I have noticed in Sydney that more and more tea houses are springing up all the time. I don't drink coffee myself so it is nice to be able to get a choice of good quality tea.

If we just got rid of Foxtel our kids would be exposed to far more Aussie content on TV. I nolonger have foxtel as of 12months ago. I had expected my kids to complain bitterly. They didn't. There is so much on offer on free-to-air that they hardly noticed.


message 15: by Janet (new)

Janet | 32 comments Gail and Monya...Loved your comments.Tea houses in Sydney? That gives me even more incentive to visit Australia, one day.

What is Foxtel? Getting rid of it sounds like a good move on your part.

Hope your cricket improves!


message 16: by Janet (new)

Janet | 32 comments David wrote: "Strewth! I recon our mob are being taken ova' by the yanks lingo, only ave to look at our nippers, dressin & talkin like bloody New York hoods, should ban those black hoods & dark sunnies, oh! & th..."

Yo David ma man...as usual you get right to the point. I is down with that.


Sounds pretty sick. We need to get rid of that speech here, too.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Pop over Janet I'll take you to high tea in the QVB. (Queen Victoria Building).
Foxtel is our version of cable TV.


message 18: by Laura (new)

Laura | 4299 comments :OT:
@Gail- Did you ever try Austar? We've never had cable in my family when it comes to TV. Sometimes I'd like it but I don't want to fork over the extra cash.


:OnTopic:
I bought that book yesterday afternoon. I was flicking through it and found it rather interesting. My sister and I got a few laughs out of it but I'm sure there is alot that will go over my head once I finally read it.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Laura Foxtel is our only option.


message 20: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) We in the US have had our culture taken over by W**Mart. Don't let it happen to you!


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

At the moment we are a WalMart free zone. I suspect it is only a matter of time. :(


message 22: by Laura (new)

Laura | 4299 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "At the moment we are a WalMart free zone. I suspect it is only a matter of time. :("

Big W! lol

Ahhh...There is a site that shows what people wear to Walmart..Super scary!


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Hmmmm I have seen some pictures... Ya, pretty scary.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

In Cairns at the moment & as far as I know, we can only get austar, we had it quite some time ago but the prices kept creeping up & also I thought it a waste of money.

G'day Janet my NY mate (-: some fantastic 'Aussie' teas here, 'Bushells', 'Billy', 'Nerada (from far north Queensland)' to name some, I think you would settle quite nicely here, sorry but Earl Grey, English breakfast & the like, taste like dishwater to me (-:


message 25: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Woodland | 313 comments I don't know if it is an Americanism, but I hate the voice over for TV / radio promos that gasp their breathless way through the script in the belief that their false eagerness & drama will encourage listeners / viewers to switch on that particular program. For me the 'gasper' is a sure fire way (another Americanism ?? ) to convince me NOT to watch or listen.

While I am on my GOM box, when did we start to say dates (particularly on the radio) e.g. the series will be on three December through thirty one December. I believe it used to be - the series will be on from the 3rd of December to the 31st of December. An Americanism ?

AND for the last one - Why do we accept the phrase in adverts ' it contains no sugar' or 'you pay no fee' - how can something contain something that doesn't exists, or how can we pay a fee that doesn't exist?
It should be - 'it doesn't contain any sugar' or 'we do not charge a fee'. Stupid adverts guarantee that I will not buy - but then I'm a GOM & adverts are not directed at my age group.
I wonder if the GOM syndrome is due to the rain currently in Sydney :-o)


message 26: by Monya (new)

Monya (monyamary) Geoff wrote: "I don't know if it is an Americanism, but I hate the voice over for TV / radio promos that gasp their breathless way through the script in the belief that their false eagerness & drama will encoura..."

Geoff - my husband hates it when they refer to afour-wheel drive vehicle as an S.U.V.


message 27: by Laura (last edited Nov 29, 2010 06:38PM) (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments I moved to Australia from the US as an adult in the late 80s. I really enjoyed learning all the new vocabulary and idioms almost as much as I dreaded a couple of my mistakes in using Americanisms which translate rather rudely into Austraian. My nephews never tire of hearing me ask for lollies or putting on a jumper, but even in the time I've been here, I've seen the rapid uptake of American slang and usage.

That said, as a writer, it is a bit of a relief that if I slip and use an Americanism, my readers will bemoan seeing their language tainted rather than picking me as the import that I am.

Monya - Really? We can't use SUV in Aus? I always think of a 4WD as a Troopy or some hearty outback vehicle. In my mind an SUV is something mums use to shuttle their kids to and from school. I despair that I'll never be true blue.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

I always thought an SUV was a family van not a four-wheel drive? (I am not a fan of 4WD full stop you can call them what you like.)


message 29: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 29, 2010 06:58PM) (new)

SUV is an American term, & as far as I know 4WD or 4be's (we went driving along the beach in the 4be or went bush in the 4be) this covers all from a small Suzuki 'buzz box' to a large 6wd or 4wd.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

My new book was edited, in part, by American editors, but my publisher & I have been comunicating for some time now & he has 'got the gist' of a lot of Aussie slang, though I did receive some quieries from the editors eg. what a 'cocky' was or 'bull lights', 'bull bar' I was even asked to explain a billabong, goodness know what they thought with it ending in bong LOL!!

But all is good & will be out very, very, soon.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

You might have to explain some of them to Sydney siders. :) (Not me I grew up in the country)


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, I fogot....now what did Banjo say?


It was the man from Ironbark who struck the Sydney town,
He wandered over street and park, he wandered up and down.
He loitered here he loitered there, till he was like to drop,
Until at last in sheer despair he sought a barber's shop.................

There were some gilded youths that sat along the barber's wall.
Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all;

LOL!LOL!LOL!


message 33: by Monya (new)

Monya (monyamary) David wrote: "My new book was edited, in part, by American editors, but my publisher & I have been comunicating for some time now & he has 'got the gist' of a lot of Aussie slang, though I did receive some quier..."

Many years ago the late Danny Kaye starred in a regular T.V. show. Once he sang "Waltzing Matilda", and he called billabong a 'billybog'. Among other errors which my memory refuses to recall. The National Geographic magazine, no less, did an article on Banjo and the poem, but quoted the original and not the one we all sing. Looked very odd and un-Australian.

And quite recently on Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson mentioned the Bathurst car race and used a long 'a', as in "bath". Well, I suppose everyone thinks it's odd we say Bathurst with a short 'a'!


message 34: by Janet (new)

Janet | 32 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "Pop over Janet I'll take you to high tea in the QVB. (Queen Victoria Building).
Foxtel is our version of cable TV."


Gail, I just may take you up on the offer..QVB sounds quite lovely.


message 35: by Janet (new)

Janet | 32 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "Pop over Janet I'll take you to high tea in the QVB. (Queen Victoria Building).
Foxtel is our version of cable TV."


Gail does Foxtel also have American programs? Like CNN or Oprah?


message 36: by Janet (new)

Janet | 32 comments David wrote: "In Cairns at the moment & as far as I know, we can only get austar, we had it quite some time ago but the prices kept creeping up & also I thought it a waste of money.

G'day Janet my NY mate (-:..."


This is great, with all these invites I can come to Australia for tea. Then, if I want coffee I can cross the pond, to England!


message 37: by Janet (new)

Janet | 32 comments David wrote: "Oh, I fogot....now what did Banjo say?


It was the man from Ironbark who struck the Sydney town,
He wandered over street and park, he wandered up and down.
He loitered here he loitered there..."


Brilliant David. Really good.


message 38: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Carmel wrote: ""I believe I was the person responsible for the comment referred to earlier by John "I found the commenter who so strongly objected to "I'm done" vs. "I'm finished" to be looking for an excuse to c..."

I'm sure John doesn't mind Carmel. You're right I can hear your accent just by reading your posts. But i's a lovely feeling and also the biggest reason I wanted to have an Australian group on Goodreads. It makes me feel more at home and also it's less intimidating to join discussions (especially when you're a newbie) when you understand exactly what the other people are getting at!;)


message 39: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Carmel wrote: "Did you see my kangaroo pic Mandy earlier today? I took that last year at my sister's place about 10 mins from home - gorgeous joey in it's mum's pouch:)..."

OMG! I thought it was a professional photo Carmel. It's fantastic! Lucky you to be so close to nature. I love the times I've spent living in rural Australia!


message 40: by BlueSky (new)

BlueSky | 86 comments Is our Aussie language being Americanised? Fo' shizzle, m'nizzle! (For sure, my friend!)

And - lol - I note we even have a list of Favorites here ... :o}


message 41: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Bluesky wrote: "And - lol - I note we even have a list of Favorites here ... :o}"

Shock, Horror! Where??


message 42: by BlueSky (new)

BlueSky | 86 comments Oh I'm just nit picking!! :) It's the list that has been cut and pasted for the Getting to Know You topic


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Favorites OMG no!!! Tell me if you find and change it Mandy, 'cause I am searching for it now.


message 44: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Bluesky wrote: "Oh I'm just nit picking!! :) It's the list that has been cut and pasted for the Getting to Know You topic"

I've changed it on my original msg but can't edit other people's msgs! Oh the shame of it all!! ;DD


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Tee hee, I mangaged to avoid the trap thankfuly as I din't include the contaminated word in my post. That is going to haunt you for a very long time Mandy.


message 46: by Janet (new)

Janet | 32 comments Carmel wrote: "Thanks Mandy, we were driving along her dirt road from her house & saw the roo & her joey & I had my camera with me so thought it's not often you get a chance like that:) Love Australia, we have be..."

Carmel ... I am so envious. A kangaroo and a baby. How fabulous. Your animals are so interesting. Nothing like that here in NY.We have to go to a zoo to see any exotic animals. We do have some lovely birds in Florida, though.


message 47: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments I can't see them either.


message 48: by BlueSky (new)

BlueSky | 86 comments Oh wow! I have never seen as plain a picture of Platytpus (platypi?) as that ... they are so cute! I knew they were small but I had no idea. We have echidnas in the West, and Koalas we get to see in wildlife parks here. Thanks Carmel :)


message 49: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Beautiful? I think you're being generous. They are cute as can be, but look at those platypuses, they are sort of comically ugly. And have you watched an echidna walk? Hard to be further from beauty than that!

But all VERY cool. Thanks for the photos.


message 50: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (traceya) | 485 comments Just discovered this thread and firstly - wow Carmel, great pics. I love our Aussie culture, what's left of it and our language but I don't see it lasting long - it seems the whole world is trending towards a globalized [made that word up] language and idioms. You see it here, Paris, London, everywhere. I've travelled to third world countries like Indonesia and you find the same 'lingo' growing there.
It's all becoming a great big melting pot.


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