We like to discuss the big issues at work and I have to say I really do enjoy the way a simple question can lead to a robust debate among colleagues. For example, about three weeks ago the question was posed…. is it peanut butter or peanut paste?
I told you we tackle the big issues.
But like a said, this simple question has led to a debate which is still raging nearly a month later, but oh how it has expanded. No longer content with the nuances surrounding everyone’s favourite peanut product the discussion has expanded to include cupcakes vs patti cakes, togs vs bathers, ice blocks vs icy poles vs ice cream and even scones vs scones (ya know the two different ways of pronouncing the word).
Now, I have long been an advocate for upholding the wonderfully unique Aussie vernacular since Christ played full back for Jerusalem, just ask my kids, they’ll tell you. But I must admit I had begun to despair that I was the only person who cared about such things, that I was a relic from a by-gone era, but it appears that I’m not. It seems that quite a few of us are pretty keen on staying true to our oratory roots.
So with that in mind, why don’t we see more Australian slang in our media, TV and elsewhere? Is it considered a bit un-cooth, not sophisticated or is it just that we’ve all been so heavily conditioned to Americanisms through the media bombardment from the good ol’ United States of ‘Murrica that we just don’t notice it anymore? Why is our wonderful way of communication being assaulted by cookies instead of biscuits, gas instead of petrol, candy instead of lollies and pharmacies instead of chemists. For the love of Hoges our media even says our dates in the American way these days! Stone the bloody crows, they say the month first, then the day. So today for example would be October 25th. The 25th what?
Well bugger it, I say. When the Aussie media is no longer fair dinkum and they try to come the raw prawn with us by using the lingo of the Septic Tanks, I reckon we’ve got no choice but crack the shits and tell them to get a big black dog up ‘em. If we have to have a bit of a blue and go off like a frog in a sock, then so be it I’ll be as game as Ned Kelly and I’ll snot the bludgers. If all my Cobbers join in then surely that’d make the snobs drop a dark one in their Reg Grundies and that’ll set things straight and then we can head down to the rubbery dub and blow the froth off a coldie.
Maybe we should start a movement eh? Take a leaf out of the Greenies’ book and start putting a bit of pressure on the pollies to demand our right to have our vernacular in our media. Picture the scene if you will. A bunch of blokes, all with a face like a bucket of smashed crabs, marching on Parliament House in their Jackie Howes, stubbies and double pluggas. And steadfastly marching with their men, the proud sheilas in their t-shirts and trackie daks demanding their rights to freely hang a bag of goon on the clothesline if they so desire. Imagine the tide of Hipsters, spilling their de-constructed lattes and tripping over their moccasins in their haste to escape the encroaching, unstoppable wave of proud Aussies. Oh Sweet Dame Edna Everage what a magnificent vision!
Um, sorry I went off on a bit of a tangent then didn’t I? Oh well, I’m Australian, I’m allowed to.
So, to sum up, I reckon that we still have a window of opportunity to preserve the wonderful, colourful and unique vocal mannerisms that so many people around the world seem to love, but which our own intelligencia seem to loathe. But in the words of the great Darryl Kerrigan they can ‘suffer in their jocks’. Personally I love it when a Pom or a Seppo stare at me with a complete lack of comprehension when I say “G’day Knackers, you look as dry as a dead dingo’s donger, let’s go get a Fourex” and if the Australian media don’t like that they can take a long walk of a short pier.
Oh and in case you were wondering – it appears that in the 1930’s the Queensland Dairy authority objected to the use of the word ‘butter’ being used in association with a non-dairy product and so legislation was passed to ban the term peanut butter. Some other states came on board, but others didn’t. So it comes down to where you grew up. Personally I reckon who cares what it’s called, eat Vegemite instead.