YspeopleExplore tab

Ysbuys

Ysepicure

What are we doing to our language?


About Subversive

Do you have your own gripe with your local or state government? And what are the streets like in your part of town, in your home state?

If you'd like me to fire a rocket up them, or a shoddy business, I'm listening! You can email me here.


Read what peeves this author off about how we are corrupting words and language ... then tell us what annoys you.

It is said that language is culture, that our language is a critical component of the culture of a group, tribe, state of nation.

In Australia, we follow the Queen's english, but ugly Americanisms are sneaking in.

In Australia, we follow the Queen's english, but ugly Americanisms are sneaking in.

I agree. But it leaves me to wonder, what does the language of Australians say about our culture and nation?

Sometimes, I'm left scratching my head in frustration at how our language is being corrupted.

Consider these examples of mispronunciation:

  • Film (when pronounced as fillum)
  • Basic (when pronounced as bassic)
  • Gross (when pronounced to rhyme with toss)
  • In all three cases, the alternative pronunciation is common, but wrong -- although some may argue they are simply regional variations.

    Even if that is so, what about these mispronunciations?

  • Parlament (instead of parliament)
  • Gumment (instead of government)
  • Australya (instead of Australia)
  • Not only are these errors of pronunciation, but they are common.

    Then there are the misused words, such as:

  • Dilemma (which is not a choice between two things, but specifically a choice between two bad things)
  • Bemused (which has nothing to do with amusement, but rather confusion)
  • Racist (when referring to Muslims, when the focus is their religion. A Muslim can be born in any country and can be of any race).
  • These are all too common and reflect ignorance.

    What about these absurd phrases?

  • Very unique (there are no degrees of uniqueness)
  • Free gift (all gifts are free)
  • First inaugural (when the inaugural is always first)
  • These are also common, even among journalists, who should know better.

    Then there are abuses of contemporary language, such as:

  • Gotten (when ‘got’ works perfectly well in all applications)
  • Team X versed team Y (when versus has no verb)
  • Youse (the ignorant attempt at a pluralisation of you)
  • These non-words are uttered with ubiquity. They reflect pig ignorance.

    Finally, there are the Americanisms, such as:

  • Zeeeee (for Z, instead of the correct pronunciation of zed)
  • French fries (which were not invented by the French)
  • Bathroom (instead of toilet)
  • These are also common and likely reflect the influence of US television and movies.

    The Federal Government recently suggested introducing a harsher English language test for immigrants. Yet I've heard all of these abominations used by second, third and fourth-generation Australians.

    What is wrong with us? What are we doing to our language and culture?

    In response to complaints about these speech habits, it is common for people to argue that language evolves. Language does, and must, evolve.

    There was once no word for a ‘computer, because there was no such thing. But none of the examples above are about language evolving. They are all examples of laziness and ignorance.

    Banner 2
    | Your rating
    No ratings yet


    Related stories

    Check out some of the weirdest videos YouTube has to offer.

    Strangest YouTube videos you'll ever watch

     

    Kill some time with these oddball videos. Don't say we didn't warn you though, they're weird!

    Technology Humour
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Entertainment & Culture)
    Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds we have ever seen.

    Stephen Hawking's humour out of this world

     

    He may have been one of the most brilliant minds of modern time, but Professor Stephen Hawking also had a wicked sense of...

    Movies TV Science Celebrities
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Entertainment & Culture)
    Oh how TV has changed!.

    Proof they don't make TV like they used to

     

    Be amazed as Game Of Thrones gets the '90s treatment.

    TV Humour Nostalgia
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Entertainment & Culture)
    Ever had a brainwave like this? Picture: Shutterstock.

    Mindblowing shower thoughts worth sharing

    You know those flashes of brilliance you have in the shower, or while just getting dressed? Here's some of the best.

    Culture Technology Community Humour
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Entertainment & Culture)
    Don Bradman - number 2?.

    The poet who beat Don Bradman to No.1

    When it comes to great Australians, you don't get many that are more true blue than Don Bradman. Or do you?

    Culture Books Sport Australia
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Entertainment & Culture)
    Feminist Germane Greer is on the money.

    I'm with Germaine, the ‘me too’ movement's crap

    Germaine Greer’s response to the ''me too'' movement was swift, precise, and spot on. Here's why.

    Relationships Social Issues
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Entertainment & Culture)
    Comedic actor Leslie Neilsen's grave stone is a beauty.

    We're all just a little dash between two dates

    But there are some who get creative with their grave stones, leaving memorable and funny epitaphs.

    Relationships Humour Health
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Entertainment & Culture)
    You better Belieber it! Justin Bieber is every where.

    Calling all pranksters, I need your help

     

    I love a good prank or practical joke -- and pulled one on a colleague this week.Enjoy a giggle, then hit me up with more ideas.

    Relationships Community Humour
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Entertainment & Culture)
    Coffee and a book, what could be better? (Image: Shutterstock).

    Books recommended by you, for you!

     

    Your suggestions for must-read books!

    Culture Books
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Entertainment & Culture)
    Putting your phone away while eating with someone is basic etiquette (Image: Shutterstock).

    We should all embrace basic etiquette

    They are the social rules that keep the world ticking over nicely. What's important to you when it comes to basic etiquette?

    Relationships Community Social Issues
    Expand
    Over 1 year ago
    (Entertainment & Culture)

    Message board

    Derek, about 1 year ago:
    I am great
    George, about 1 year ago:
    What's up Thomas?
    George, about 1 year ago:
    Messages are now updated in real time on other browsers.
    Thomas, about 1 year ago:
    Hello
    Thomas, about 1 year ago:
    Great!
    DJC, about 1 year ago:
    Groovy!
    George, about 1 year ago:
    Message board active from June 2018

    Have your say!

    Your Great Australians

    Trending stories
    The views alone are worth visiting Laputa for.

    Perth's Laputa will not do a buffet as you know it

    New player Laputa will...

    (Epicure) Over 2 years ago
    When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

    20 mature bloggers worth following

    Looking for Australian...

    (Entertainment & Culture) Over 2 years ago
    They may be hideous, but geez, some toby jugs are valuable.

    Is your toby jug worth a fortune?

    Did you know that some of...

    (Nostalgia) About 1 year ago
    The amount of unnecessary waste that comes from supermarket packaging is deplorable.

    A pile of rubbish in my shopping

    The packaging in your...

    (Headlines) About 2 years ago

    Ripper dad jokes get a laugh

    Here's my pick of some of...

    (Love & Relationships) Almost 3 years ago
    Weekly Poll
    Photographic memories
    Hizgg0vzzqvwc9xicknk
    It's 35 years since the Ash Wednesday bushfires in South Australia and Victoria claimed 75 lives and more than 2500 buildings.