American Words

homogenisationHow do you feel about American language use in Australian society? How about American spelling? With Facebook and Microsoft Office setting defaults to American English your work is being corrected the way they want you to write it. Not to scare you or nuttin’, but as language is the first victory in controlling a population, here are some words I’m underlining now as ones we can’t change the meaning or spelling of to help keep our identity.

I wear thongs
Yes, thongs go on my feet. Their thin rubber soles protect me from bindi-eye in the lawn and hypodermic needle pricks at the beach. I don’t know the Australian name is for a lady’s short, short underwear – frankly beyond the chastity belt I’ve been introduced to little else, but I’m sure that when Yankee sailors take our women back to their bunk beds for a bit of undressing there’s some word the Australian female can use to describe one of her undergarments other than resorting to saying thong. And seriously, think about it, if we lose the word thong we’ll have to adopt another word? What do you want to say? Jandals? I’ll be thirsty in hell before I call my thongs jandals!

That’s great Yardage
What the bleep is going on in sport? First, and I’m not happy about it, kids started adopting a German prefix to identify a barrier as they call out “de fence” when at the “B ball”, and now football and cricket are using the imperial measurement “yard” when describing a distance gained as “yardage”. I don’t even like Australian’s having a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. They’re horrible, and I doubt the word cheese is appropriate for the Cheese part of the dish, and frankly I’m not going to Google how much a pound is… though obviously one dollar buys about half (ha ha ha), so equally I don’t know what a yard is and would much rather just have measurements in metres as the scientific community would prefer.

This man is in a gaol.
This man is in a gaol.

Stop using “z”
Ok, I’m not going to apologise for this one. One of these words is spelt incorrectly: socialising, organisation, criticise, analyse, lobotomise, customise, and relationship. Until you know which is supposed to have a “z” in it you have to spell all the words as spelt here. (PS: Yes, I hope you realise, it is a trick question. None of these examples should have a flipping “z” in them!)

We don’t pass the ketcup (sic)
This one is for the sauce factories that, every once in a while, look at the cost of printing a label that reads “tomato sauce” and a label that reads “tomato keuptchp” (or whatever, I’m not going to google the spelling) and think they can save a few dollars by converting Aussies into “kupchep” (sic) users. It’s not going to happen, so stop trying.

Prom Night
In Australia we have School Formals, or as my parents called it “You’re not taking anyone to the Debutante Ball son.” I’m foggy on the origin of the word “prom” past it possibly being short for promotional, and again I’m not going to bother googling it. I just want it to stop. We have two good words for that thing I never was a part of and I don’t see why a gang of words is needed.

Mathematics is shorted to maths. You have to do the mathematics to find what fraction of letters are to be removed to leave us with the shortened word, maths. However a similar problem designed to judge the fraction needed to arrive at the word “math” would result in an incomplete theorem.

Someone can be an ass, which is the abbreviation of jackass, which is another word for a male donkey (think Shrek), but to be an arse, the swear for a person’s bottom, requires greater skill. Equally it is hard to be an asshole, meaning a hole found on an ass, but somone might sound like an arsehole, meaning the poo point positioned at the bottom end of a person. Please don’t confuse the two. Otherwise you will be useless as an ass that sprouts information like an arsehole.


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