Australian media code words

Nov 13th, 2007, 03:36 PM
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Hi Melnq8, As Neil has said, you did pretty well. In fact, you could say: you had a red hot crack at it and for a Septic, your results were grouse
Neil, sitting across from South Straddie, you'd see plenty of blokes in budgie smugglers and kids carrying shark biscuits I'd imagine?
Cheers, P'chook
Pumblechook is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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I'm a Septic?

I learned about chrissy, brekky and footy on my first trip to OZ back in the 90's. A shopgirl commented that something I'd bought would be great for chrissy and I remember thinking "who the heck is Chrisy?"

My favorite Kiwi word to date is scrummy. Heard that one on a TV commercial and about fell out of my chair.

Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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Septic tank = Yank. Don't start me on the Kiwis but since you have ... my favourite of theirs is "chilly bin", in Australia that's an esky, not sure what you'd call it: cooler? car fridge? (probably not)
Pumblechook is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 04:17 PM
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Aside from the shortening of many words, a lot of this sounds like Cockney Rhyming Slang. Is that the linguistic base?
Toucan2 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 04:31 PM
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Generally, we Septics call them coolers or ice chests, but in my house they're eskys or chiller bags. We have one we call "little puke" after a tequila induced vomiting incident from years ago, but I guess that's too much information...

We've spent the last seven years surrounded by Brits, Aussies and the odd Kiwi, so we've picked up a few words here and there - eksy and brekky are two we commonly use.

I still laugh every time I hear a Brit say "freaked out" though - it's hard to pull off with a regal accent. A Brit friend of mine tells me he cringes every time a yank uses the word "got".

Sorry Neil, seems we've hijacked your thread big time.
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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Melnq8, I'm a serial thread hijacker myself so what can I say?

Is it possible that your Brit is actually upset by "gotten" rather than "got"? "Gotten" is an old usage that went out of fashion in Britain but hung on in the US, like "fall" for "autumn", and it seems to irritate some English people intensely. Grammatically it has the same relationship to "got" as "forgotten" has to "forgot" and I notice it's catching on in Australia.

Toucan, rhyming slang was imported to Australia with the convicts, many of whom were London criminals. Along with Pig Latin and other oddities it was used to confuse unwanted listeners - you never knew if the bloke standing beside you in the rubbity (rubbity-dub, pub) was a copper's nark.

My favourite Kiwi-ism is "trundler" for shopping trolley. My daughters cracked up when we pulled into a Woolworths car park and saw a big "Trundler Park" sign in the area where you leave the trolleys. [At least, where some people leave them ] It's a nicely descriptive word.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 13th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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Neil - looking into got vs gotten - will report back after talking to the Brit.

Just pulled up one of my NZ trip reports where I'd made note of some Kiwi words/pronunciation I found amusing (trundler was among them)

Debut pronounced day-boo - I've heard it pronounced this way in OZ too and it make me laugh everytime -we yanks say day-bue.


Most Americans say windy, but I picked up the term blowy from a Brit years ago and it stuck. Same with fleecy, which I picked up from a six year old in Scotland. I love words.

One habit I can't seem to break is asking for a meter of fabric instead of a yard and ordering take away instead of take out when I'm visiting the US. These slips seem to amuse my family to no end.
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 04:12 AM
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Neil, yes "gotten" irritates me too. But usually because it appears in a context that is so ungrammatical that it winds me up to screaming pitch.

You are setting yourself up as an apologist for the way the English language is used in the US. Don't you ever find yourself cringing at the way it is abused?

I would be interested to hear your evidence for saying "fall" was once common usage in Britain. How do you know that?

Looking forward to being enlightened.
chimani is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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Neil's statement about "fall" triggered something in my memory that I can't quite put my finger on (and it's really bugging me!) I'm sure I've read at least one old English book that refers to Autumn as Fall but can't think what it is. In desperation I looked up Autumn on Wikipedia and it supports the idea that Fall started as an English expression:
Would like to have gotten further with this ...
Pumblechook is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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Along with trundler, we liked "merge like a zip" (your traffic lane merges into the one next to it) and "be upstanding" (get up).

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 03:23 PM
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chimani, if "Fowler's Modern English Usage" is good enough for you,

"As was said in 'The King's English', 'fall' is better on its merits than 'autumn' in every way, and we once had as good a right to it as the Americans, but we have chosen to let the right lapse."

I don't know that American English requires an apologist in the shape of me or anyone else. The English language is used (and abused, depending on your point of view) in numerous ways in many countries, Britain included.

The idea that American English is somehow inferior or illegitimate relies on the view that there's such a thing as an authentic or "correct" way to speak and write the language, and that England is the home of this mythical correctness. There's no sensible basis to such a notion.

It also, I think, contains a vein of snobbery, as the British English held up as the model is that of the economically dominant upper classes in the south-east of England - certainly not Cockney, Geordie, Scouse or Glaswegian.

Modern English in both the US and England has evolved on somewhat divergent paths since the settlement of the American colonies in the early 1600s. Modern British English is no closer to early 17th century English than modern American English (Shakespeare certainly didn't speak like a BBC newsreader).

Who's to say that one path is more legitimate than the other? It makes no sense, especially as American English is now dominant - an unavoidable result of Britain's loss of empire and declining influence.

I strongly recommend Bill Bryson's "Mother Tongue" and "Made in America" as scholarly but entertaining works on the development of the English language and on America's place in it.

Regarding "gotten" - in what ungrammatical ways have you heard the word used? As a matter of interest, have you never used the phrase "ill-gotten gains", or would you prefer "ill-got"?

As for irritation, that can come from any direction, including the presenter of the current doco on Captain Cook, who pronounces the o's in his name to rhyme with the o's in "tool".
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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I had dinner with the Brit last night, but I'm no more clear on his disgust with "got" and "gotten" than I was before the meal. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the amount of wine consumed.

Years ago I had a job in Saudi Arabia which required that I edit reports written by Saudi engineers. It sounded simple enough until I realized that they'd been taught English by Brits, thereby they spelled some words differently, and used certain verbs and collective nouns differently than we yanks. I never for a minute considered them wrong, but was torn between the expectations of my American boss who insisted on American English, and the Saudis who only knew the English they'd been taught.

I never did succeed in explaining the difference. As if learning a second language wasn't difficult enough!

As for apologizing for the American usage of the English language - hogwash. Most Americans realize they don't speak the same English as their English counterparts. It's the Americans who insist on slaughtering the English they do have that really tork my jaw.
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 04:28 PM
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And yes, I spelled torque wrong.
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 05:38 PM
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"Debut pronounced day-boo - I've heard it pronounced this way in OZ too and it make me laugh everytime -we yanks say day-bue."

Off the top of my head I'm not sure how the French would pronounce the "u", not that it matters.

One American pronunciation that catches my ear is "buoy" - we say "boy", but I've heard Americans say something that sounds like "bew-oy" or "bewey" (?)

Another I first heard when Kentucky Fried Chicken ads first appeared in Australian TV. When the Colonel talked about his "eleven secret 'erbs and spices" I thought he had a speech impediment (we pronounce the 'h').

Speaking of irritants, the Queen has modified her strangled vowels over the years, no doubt on the advice of her spin doctors, but in the old days when people would religiously listen to Her Maj's Christmas Message, hearing "May husbend end ay" and "may pipple in Orstrellya" always used to kill me.

There's a joke based on the Queen's Christmas Message, but the punch line would proably get me thrown off Fodors...
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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<"may pipple in Orstrellya">

Huh? My people in Orstrellya?

Most Americans pronounce buoy as boo-ee, present company included.

And yes, to many Americans the "h" in herb is silent, thus "erb".

My American dictionary shows both "urb" and "hurb" as
pronunciations, and I'd never call a guy named Herb "Erb".

We also say school of fish, which makes my English friends scoff.

And then there's "in the hospital" instead of "in hospital" or "at the university" instead of "at university" or "menopause" instead of "the menopause".

I don't know why we say what we do, but it sure makes life interesting.
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 07:42 PM
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You might like these two pages on English spelling

Might help to explain why it's such an exasperating language. I watched a doco some time ago on the evolution of written English. Aparently up until the time the printing press was invented it didn't matter much how words were spelled. No one was likely to read them anyway because hardly anyone was literate, and those who were wrote in Latin.
After Johan Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1450 William Caxton began printing books in English (about 1474) and the need to standardise the written language became obvious.
Edward IV set up a royal commission to develop a common spelling for the English language They deliberated for years, and finally came up with what we use today. Aparently at the time the spelling roughly approximated the spoken word, but over the centuries the spoken language has changed.
The American spelling of many words is a better approximation of the spoken word, and I suspect in a few more centuries this will replace the current spelling.
vbca is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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vbca -

Interesting sites. I've heard it's difficult to learn English, and it's a wonder any of us can write a decent sentence with all those inconsistencies. Not to mention what businesses (Dunkin Donuts, Kum 'n Go, Krispy Kreme) and the media would like us to believe are actual words.

Loved the IQ test - passed with flying colors, but stumbled on the word total for some reason.

I've always wanted to learn German, but I can't seem to get my head around those incredibly long words.
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 09:39 PM
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But the differences are relatively few. You can pick up an American novel and often read several pages before you come across a spelling that differs from British English.

I thought that standardisation was a good way off in the time of Edward IV, but a start was presumably made. Shakespeare, who came well after Edward, spelt his own name quite a few ways, as did Walter Raleigh (e.g. Rawley, Rowley). Interestingly, the city of Raleigh in North Carolina is pronounced "Rawley", and the odds are that that's how Raleigh himself pronounced his name, not "Rally" as in modern British English.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 10:24 PM
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Maybe it was Edward V, History was never my long suit. It all came to a head when they started printing the Bible. Up until that time religious texts were in Latin, and only the priests, and the educated nobles could read. They thought that giving the commoners access to books, and hence information and learning would undermine the authority of the upper classes. Very similar to what is happening in some countries with the introduction of the Internet.
For a time it was an offence to own a English bible, and the printing presses were closed down. Finally they started printing them in France, and smuggled them in. Sort of like the underground publishing that went on in Russia prior to the end of the Soviet Union. Samarsdadt??)
Anyway, enough history, back to the fun and levity.
vbca is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 12:34 AM
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vbca, was that show "The Adventure of English" with Melvyn Bragg? Whatever, you're 100% right with your modern day analogy of countries like China and Singapore censoring the Imternet. The fight to get the Bible into the hands of the people was definitely as much about political power as religion, with the nobility and church taking a "keep 'em barefoot and pregnant" attitude to the lower classes.

Neil_Oz is offline  

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