The Prime Minister’s Speech / Speech & oration
By Alex Landragin
Could the Prime Minister’s poll woes be linked to the words she uses? Sydney Morning Herald national reporter Jacqueline Maley has written an op-ed in the daily today suggesting the stiffness with which Prime Minister Julie Gillard delivers her scripted speeches might help explain why her messages don’t seem to cut through in the electorate.
While Julia Gillard is a lively speaker when speaking…
Translating Australian English / Words & language
Last week we offered some untranslatable words that you might use on holidays and our commenters came back with some even better suggestions including some home-grown suggestions.
One anonymous commentator suggested the excellent Australianism, ‘dag’. Their explanation gave played out the subtleties of the word that’s evolved beyond the barnyard. “You can explain the unpleasant farming origins of the word but it’s difficult to…
Are you OK or okay? / Words & language
If your finger hovers over the “a” key after writing “ok” then you’re not alone. Roy Blount from the New York Times recently puzzled over what the correct spelling was.
Blount traces the first use of okay back to a bad joke about mispelling:
“The first use of OK in print, in The Boston Morning Post of March 23, 1839, was a joke: “o.k…
A Usage That is So, Like, Old / Words & language
Over at the ever-informative OUP blog, Anatoly Liberman is wrestling with what he calls a “ubiquitous modern parasite”: the word “like”. He chronicles the rise of the word as though it were a virus mutating to defy definition. Liberman believes “like freed itself from the verb to be and became an independent filler” with very little meaning.
And far from belonging to 21st century…