Dont bag out australian english

Jim   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 00:15 GMT

Aren't you worried that you might be showing yourself to be somewhat of an ignorant prick with statements like "After all they were convicts, no wonder their accent is so....untrained."?

"Untrained" ... what a load of crap! What is is for an accent to be "trained" ... think about it for a while and come and tell us that the notion makes an ounce of sense.

And what, please, tell us, is the connexion between being convicted of some crime or other and the accent that you have? Do criminals have different accents to the people around them?

If certain people take off their racist goggles and have a good look at Australian history they'll see that there is a lot more to it than the fact that it was once used by the British as a gaol.

Perhaps one day (or is it "one die"?) these people will climb out of their shell and realise that there were convicts in their country too. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Anyone who wants to attack Aussies on that basis is full of shit.

If you are annoyed and irritated by the Aussie accent, that's a matter of taste. I can't help it if some people's taste is in their arse. Accents are accents. None is better or worse than any other. I neither love nor hate them, they just are.

Don't go around thinking that you've softened your line, Henry, with the "it depends on where the person is from." remark, either. You're just risking showing yourself to be class prejudice. The whole idea of a "standard accent" is a phantasy that people would do well to abandon.

Henry, get over it. I'm sure that there are those out there who find you and your accent irritating too.

Best wishes,
wingyellow   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 00:28 GMT

At the very least, you are a native speaker. My Cantonese accent is more discriminated against. I read some books and learn that it has something to do with the muscles I cannot control.

Talking about ancestry, White American are offsprings of invaders and slave drivers. What matters is they have changed.
albert c   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 00:32 GMT
Whoa! Henry's entitled to his opinion, isn't he? He just made some little comments and this grumpy old Brit Jim starts to rant. God! Are you psycho, Jim? Let Henry say what he thinks!

Yovvel deg nestaya, a qรค'r-aqnut!
Henry   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 00:43 GMT
I apologise I've offended someone in any way, that was not my intention. I was stating my opinion that's all. I do like the educated aussie accent, specially from beautiful australian women. For example I've heard of a big brother housemate called Regina. I have to say that's an example of an incredibly, unsexy(if that word exists) irritating accent. But Suzie Wilks from a program called changing rooms, has a beautiful sounding accent. I would just like to say that not all australians have the crocodile dundee accent.
albert c   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 03:43 GMT
See, Jim, poor Henry actually has a heart! He was just expressing his opinions as he's entitled to do so.

You, Jim, are the one who's "full of s***", as you say it. If you fall into a pile of that stuff, that serve's you right. God, old psycho!
Grumpy Old Psycho "Brit" Jim   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 04:20 GMT
Henry and Albert,

Sure, everyone's entitled to their opinion. If something irritates you there's nothing wrong with saying so. Nor was it my intention to offend but, yes, I did start to have a rant. Sorry to go on so. I ought to have just stuck to pointing out the fact that going on about "convicts" as if it's something to be ashamed of or as if it means that you're less of a person is not very nice. What you wrote, Henry, could be taken as offensive. That's my opinion and I was just stating it too. If I've, inturn caused offence, sorry about that. I suppose I've proven that I am the one who's full of shit after all. Good luck to you both. All in good fun, ay.

Clark   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 04:38 GMT
Alber c, are you a Conlanger?
Henry   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 05:45 GMT
I have to admit that I am very opinionated and may come across as very rude. Although I have to admit I am prejudiced against Italians. There is something about Italians that just....ticks me off!!
Jack Doolan   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 08:15 GMT
As it happens the Old Dart sent far more convicts across the Atlantic to the 13 colonies before the Revolutionary War than they ever did to Australia, something few US citizens know or admit. It was a lot closer for a one thing. After the end of that war they still tried to land one or two ship loads of old lags onto American shores but got sent packing by G. Washington's navy/army. Since they could not send convicts to the new United States any more they started a colony at Sydney in 1788. This was intended among other things to lead to a colony of free and independent farmers etc which is ultimately about what happened.

Corporal John Love was my great-great-great whatever grandfather and arrived in Sydney in 1791. He was part of the New South Wales Corps (The Rum Corps) whose officers much later arrested Governor Wm Bligh of 'Bounty' fame. The Rum Corps was said to be the dregs of the British Army and was as big a bunch of villains as the convicts they guarded and John Love was no exception. b ut by no means the worst. In 1803 he was fined for having an illegal distillery and about 1819, aged over 80, he was sentenced to death for stealing a bull from the government and selling it back to them in about 1000 pieces. But the sentence was commuted to hard labour for life on Christmas Eve that year. His younger son Joseph was blind and was considered the best violinist in Sydney during the 1820s and 1830s. One of Joseph's daughters married an Irish ex-convict who was working his own carrier business and I am descended from them. All the rest of my antecedents were free English, Scots, Catholic and Protestant Irish people who came to Australia as immigrants in the 19th century. Thus the convict "stain" in my case is considerably diluted, as it is in most Australians.

Actually I couldn't give a toot whether any of my forebears were convicts or not. The Death Rows of the USA are chock-a-block with men whose DNA tests prove that they could not have committed the murders they have been condemned for. How many of the convicts sent to Australia or the old 13 colonies were actually guilty of the relatively minor crimes for which they were transported? Quite a few, I'd guess. But not all by any means. Serious criminals got the noose, not the passage to Sydney.

In spite of some differences the New Zealand accent is very similar to the Australian. Yet NZ never received convicts from anywhere.
LM   Tuesday, September 02, 2003, 11:46 GMT
Thats right, no convicts here. Thats why we speak with a trained accent and eat fush and chups instead.
Jack Doolan   Thursday, September 04, 2003, 06:18 GMT
Michener called the New Zealand and Australian accents atrocious in "Tales of the South Pacific" and other books. But in the decades after WWII Australian schoolchildren were taught that Yankee accents were vile. I presume they meant the accent of the north east of the country.

LM - what comes after 5? Who was a woodcutter? Farewell, Bledisloe (for a wee while).
Ben   Thursday, September 04, 2003, 07:54 GMT
I think the point about 'trained' speech wasn't such a bad one, as long as it is properly defined.

It is technically possible to 'train' any English speaker to speak in any accent. I know a Cantonese fellow who talks with a strong Mancunian (from Manchester) accent. I also know a few Aussies who can quite happily switch between Estuary English and their native accent depending on where they are.

The danger, however, is to think that a 'trained' English accent means your typical, middle class, southern English accent (of Hugh Grant vintage). To have such an accent is, in England at least, considered (by some people, ?perhaps wrongly?) to be desirable. However, I speak with that accent, and was certainly not 'trained' to do it - I just picked it up.

I think a 'trained' accent should just mean any accent that a person is capable of speaking with, which is at different from their native accent.
Henry   Monday, September 08, 2003, 00:54 GMT
There is nothing wrong with being descendants from convicts, it doesnt make you any less of a human being. No one has to justify the actions of their ancestors and in no way does it imply that they are inferior. But I have to say that the accent that was imported to Australia (through the people that arrived there whether they were convicts or not), specially the thick Strine accent(I think you call it ocker that's the worst form), is absolutely atrocious. I hope over time that accent becomes extinct as Australian English is now being influenced by the wave of migrants arriving in Australia. Dont get me wrong but I cannot take anyone seriously with a thick Strine accent, it is just so unpleasant to the ears, it just plain torture like someone scratching their nails on a blackboard.
Clark   Monday, September 08, 2003, 01:06 GMT
I agree. Just because our ancestors were one way, doe not mean we will be the same way. We are our own people; we are not the same as our ancestors. We may live in the same places and in the same cultures as our ancestors, but times change, culture changes, and with each new generation, the people change as well.
Jack Doolan   Monday, September 08, 2003, 05:07 GMT

I wouldn't lose any sleep over it mate.

There are several accents in Australia. I have posted this on this site before. There is educated Australian which has more to do with education than locality, then a few regional accents. These are very localised, the New England area of northern NSW is supposed to have it's own accent, while I can often detect a Melbourne accent. There's a third around Elizabeth in South Australia. The rest of the country speaks in accents which grade from educated to broad and is much the same in Gulargambone as it is in Bungewogerai.