Pronunciation of Cairns

Aug 18th, 2005, 06:03 PM
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Yep Neil, most linguists believe the distinct Strine accent stems from the composition of the convicts (some 160,000)transported to the only country in the world to be settled and colonised as a huge jail (or goal, ) ... predominantly London English (Cockney), Irish and standard English.

As recently as 1940, a visiting British anthropologist Dr. Halliday Sutherland came up with a novel theory for its crude, ugly, flat, slovenly and corrupt nature:

"I believe that the colonial accent in Australia is due to the effects of an inflammation of the nose, a complaint from which most Australians seem to suffer. The prevalent nose inflammation is probably due to pollen in the air, as there are thousands of grasses in Australia which produce this pollen." (Mitchell & Delbridge)

He was trying to be diplomatic, he he, as the predominant view of Strine by the Poms was one of abhorrence, as an "abomination resulting from the perverted and immoral mature of the convicts" (Hughes again).

So my pollen-stuffed nose would produce ADlayd

FurryTiles is offline  
Aug 19th, 2005, 01:40 AM
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Furry Tiles: Ow id your node fury. AD leat you probley say tings as thay shuld be sed.
I was listening intently to a British show the other day and remarked to my hubby who is/was English that he would have to have lessons on how to speak proper if he went back. There are B ooo ks and the pronounciation of one was intriguing to say the least - waronnnnn.
lizF is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 07:24 PM
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FurryTiles, Sutherland was a man to be reckoned with, wasn't he? He seems to have had a talent for missing the obvious.

Of course, in the old days many of the middle class were mortified by the Australian accent and tried to ensure that their children weren't infected with it. They sent them to elocution lessons to round their vowels naicely in anticipation of a visit to the Mother Country (where presumably they fooled nobody).

As late as the 1960s TV newsreaders favoured a clipped, quasi-English accent. This is even more evident in 1940s-50s newsreel films and radio broadcasts, where only the comics and baddies spoke broad Australian - no doubt a reflection of British films of the time, in which Cockneys were usually portrayed as simple-minded forelock-tuggers, clowns or villains.

I read somewhere that in the 19th century even an upper-class English accent was different to what we now think of as the Queen's English. Even in the last 40 years or so the speech of the upper class has become significantly more flattened and closer to working-class London speech.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 01:33 AM
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I too recall the era of the Cultural Cringe here in Oz, where middle-class 'strines shuddered with disgust at hearing fair-dinkum broad accent. Probably the comment Ozzie-born 'n bred Prime Minister Menzies will be best remembered for was his "I'm British to my bootstraps".

Language - much to the dismay of purists - is a living, evolving and changing phenomenon, so yes indeed even the Queen's English has changed quite markedly in the past 40 years.
There are some great videos titled The Muvver Tongue detailing the history of English.

I seem to recall that in centuries past the British aristocrats/royalty considered English to be the dialect of the peasants, and only spoke French!
FurryTiles is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 01:29 PM
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Anyone who thinks that the English language should be set in concrete would benefit from reading the following books:

* "The Story of English" by Robert McCrum, Robert MacNeil & William Cran (preferably with the BBC TV series);

* "Mother Tongue" and "Made in America" by Bill Bryson;

* "The Word on the Street: Fact and Fable about American English" by Prof John H McWhorter.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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As a regular visitor to your shores I have heard Cairns pronounced in many ways, creating the impression that maybe there were two places of similar origin in the same area!
Is this the time or place to introduce the 'sex' for 6 debate?!
dotty is offline  
Aug 28th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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You would hev to cross the dutch to get a sex peck and get on the puss. ! You would probably need a new thread to cover the Kiwi language structure !
And one last point if you can call Wagga Wagga...Wagga, why can't you call Woy Woy........Woy !
Marko is offline  
Aug 28th, 2005, 05:18 PM
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Marko, how many kuds do you have?
and when you come to an intersection in your motor car, do you turn right or lift? and don't forget when you arrive at the airport, you must chickenin 1 hour before departure.
tropo is offline  
Aug 29th, 2005, 05:12 AM
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As Cairns is in the Deep North, you can pronounce it however you want to. It is full of refugees from the colder south in winter, and they rhyme it with bairns with the R not rolled, and full of overseas visitors the rest of the time. The local population moved out about ten years ago and commute back to Cairns to staff the tourist facilities.
Galah is offline  
Aug 29th, 2005, 05:44 AM
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Outback is an American Company. OSI operates Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Roy's, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Lee Roy Selmon's, Bonefish Grill & Lee Roy Selmon's.

How the company originated can be found here..
Dick is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 05:01 AM
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Cairns and area is full of refugees from the south permanently, and I'm one of them. Along with a good sprinkling of Europeans and Americans, who've decided to make it their home It just might have something to do with the best lifestyle in the country in mostly ageeable weather. No pollution, little road traffic in comparison with southern cities, easily accessible scenery to burn in every direction, its no wonder they're flocking here. And now super cheap airfares whenever the need is felt for some southern "culture".

The invasion has been a bit traumatic for many of the old locals who've fled up the hill to the Tableland in horror at invasion, but they hardly commute back to Cairns to serve tourist facilities.
pat_woolford is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 05:34 AM
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I find the one place most people get wrong is Canberra itself.

Is it just in Australia that the letter "h" is called haitch? I was taught 'aitch' but I seem to be the only one.My mother reckons the Irish Catholic nuns taugh "haitch".

The word that most divided the cultured Aussie accent from the 'broad' is youse. Youse lot understand, eh?
eigasuki is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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Cairns is a funny word for Americans for some reason. Most of the time we have no trouble at all coping with the unpronounced "r" -- We can hear an Aussie say "Perth" with a nice long schwa sound in the middle and no American "r" sound at all, and then repeat "Perth" to rhyme with the way we say "birth" -- with a pronounced "r".

Likewise almost every other place name with and "r" in it.

But when it comes to "Cairns", Americans can't seem to interpret the unpronounced "r" as a feature of the Australian accent, and instead perform a peculiar oral gymnastic maneuvre -- "cyanns", with an hugely exaggerated short-but-prolonged "a".

It's the only word I know of where Americans try to incorporate the Aussie accent into their pronunciation. It's very peculiar. They, or should I say we, take a bizarre pride in spreading this word as thinly as Vegemite, as if we're displaying some kind of secret knowledge. Weird. It's not how we pronounce the word "can", either.
fnarf999 is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 01:10 PM
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There's certainly a theory that the nuns and brothers so exaggerated the initial 'h' sound that it got attached to 'aitch' as well. According to this theory they were engaged in (literally) beating out of their working-class kids the habit of dropping their aitches and often weren't very well educated themselves. However my wife, who's a survivor of a parish school and no fan of the nuns, claims that 'haitch' wasn't heard at her school. Whatever the case, 'haitch' is certainly still alive and well.

One interesting side-effect of the Catholic school system was that the boys tended to be pointed towards white-collar jobs which could be gained on merit rather than unaffordable university studies. These jobs included the public service (entrance by competitive examination) and the law, which could be entered by a sort of apprenticeship system in which one worked in a law office and studied for the Solicitors Admission Board exams, which didn't require matriculation. Thus the public service contained a disproportionate number of Irish names.

It was believed, often erroneously, that private sector employers were biased against Catholics. Some were certainly run on an old-school-tie basis, but not as many as my Catholic friends thought.
Neil_Oz is offline  
May 10th, 2006, 04:27 PM
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On the "haitch" discussion ....

My grandparents had a neighbour of the "haitch" school,with a touch of the "Hyacinth Bouquet" character, of whom my grandmother used to say: "Mrs Manton drops her aitches at '(H)omebush and picks them up at (H)Ashfield". And indeed she did. One of her common sayings was .... "It seems to me, Mrs. Priestley, that the more we hearn the more we hoe".
Bokhara is offline  
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