Every week, without fail, I take perverse pleasure in reading the column of Phillip Adams in the Weekend Australian magazine.
I say perverse, because as a rabid athiest, Adams has very little in common with me, a conservative Bible-believing Christian (read, in Adams-speak: fundie, Taliban-wannabe God botherer).
I often find myself banging my head against the wall (or at least the paper) asking why such a brilliant mind could be so ignorant of the nature of certain things.
But I digress… Today’s post is not about what I don’t like about Adams or how we disagree. No matter what else I may say about him, Phillips Adams is a true Australian.
He places great importance on the value of Australian culture and of preserving it in the face of the powerful Hollywood/MTV version of (United States of) American culture.
In his column on Saturday which (online at least), entitled Attack of the seppos, Adams laments the loss of Australian Slang.
Anyone who has seen The Adventures of Barry McKenzie might not consider that a bad thing…
I do. And so does Phillip Adams… He refers to an earlier attempt to save the language…
The idea was that each of us would adopt a favourite and forgotten colloquial expression and promise to use it at least once a day. You might choose drongo and apply it to a politician.
Our family has a few favourite slang expressions: “carry on like a pork chop” (applying particularly well to any one of my five sons) is perhaps too often used. I may very well seek to use the word “drongo” in conversation more often. Rhyming slang is also popular, though hard to know what is Strine-based and what is Cockney (I am fond of accusing my boys of telling pork-pies, but I am sure that is a Cockney one!).
I do have an admission to make though… When I greet people, even in the pharmacy, I am prone to use the awfully colloquial expression “G’day” (complete with apostrophe) in preference to Hello, Hi, Good Day, Good morning or (heaven forbid!) Howdy. It doesn’t quite make me Barry McKenzie’s long-lost brother, but I reckon I can wear the green-and-gold with pride!
And Phillip, thanks for a good laugh and for fighting the good fight!