Friday, June 16, 2006

A brief post regarding footy and Australian English. Pictured is Brett Kirk, or course nicknamed "Captain" Kirk and indeed, one of the Swans'team catains this year. He is tenacious, fearless, the hard ball getter. Stats on tackles are fantastic and I think he is definitely worthy of his nickname. As you know I am reading Shake Down the Thunder which is the story of the Swans, told in interviews with players and people around the team. It is fascinating to know the inside feelings and tactics, such as the fact that they practiced last minute goaling so that Nick Davis's goal in the St Kilda final was not as freaky as it seemed but still magic. Now a quote from Kirky, "I copped one early and basically had a hole in my head that required 15 stitxhes. I felt pretty ordinary for a while but that's footy." So, to any non-AFL fans, you don't leave the ground if you are hurt; they swaddle your head up with bandages so you don't bleed on anyone and you continue to play. Only if you are carried off in a stretcher and are taken to hospital are you out of the match. That's not totally true but close. Notice also the use of the work "ordinary". Ordinary means not very good as opposed to the American meaning of not special, basic, vanilla, generic. "An ordinary day" here means pretty awful as opposed to a day like any other. "That meal was pretty ordinary" means you'll never go back to that restaurant rather than it wasn't anything special but acceptable. Aussies still think American English has completely overrun Australian idioms. They don't even know what is Australian and what isn't. I saw a book about "lost Australian turns of speech" and right on the cover was "It's snowing down south" which any American lady of a certain age knows means "your slip is showing". It may be dying because nobody wears a slip anymore but it's not uniquely Australian.

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