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"English as she is spoke"


henrietta

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Flash Jim by Kel Richards. HarperCollins 2021

A nation is defined by its dictionaries. So it is somehow appropriate that Australia's first lexicon guide was a dictionary of slang and was written by a convict.

 

If you call your clothes your duds or your togs, ask for a dollop of ice cream on your dessert, say you have swags of sausages for the barbie, or call a drunk a lush you are talking like a convict, using flash words. There are hundreds of examples of convict slang still alive and functioning in the Australian language today.

James Hardy Vaux (aka Flash Jim ) had a colourful life; he was transported to Australia as a convict not once, but three times. He was the author of our first dictionary, published in 1819. He wrote it in the hope his little dictionary would prove so useful, and would so ingratiate him with the commandant, and that he would be relieved of his hard labour in the coal mine. What he wanted was a soft clerical job in the quartermaster's store. It worked.

(the modest compilation is included in Richards' book)

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It's practically a cliche to refute modern pedantry by dredging up a bunch of times Shakespeare used a disputed form. Having said that:

  • in Macbeth, Donalbain warns Malcolm that "there's daggers in men's smiles";
  • in All's Well That Ends Well, a matron reports that "there's four or five" bound to Saint Jacques;
  • in Love's Labour's Lost, Berowne says "there's half a dozen sweets" while talking to the Princess of France;
  • "There's matters in these sighes," Claudius opines, in Hamlet.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-25/grammatical-errors-singular-plural-apostrophe-there-is-are/100143650

 

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With the Champions League final just ended ( Chelsea won.... YEAH) , there are a few , I assume, hurried reports being made. eg

 

Manchester City’s wait for an allusive Champions League title goes on

 

Not sure what "allusive" actually means , but no doubt it is a word , and no doubt "predictive text" will be blamed.

 

Cheers

J

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came across both allusive and elusive in an article:

These days he occupies a similar position in the pantheon of Western pop music as Picasso does in art. His allusive lyrics, spanning low and high culture – from hepcat slang to Shakespeare – expanded the vocabulary of pop songs to the furthest limit. Both writing and performing his material, he enacted a break with the Tin Pan Alley model of hired songwriters producing hits for singers. Rock music, with its valuing of self-authorship and freedom, has roots in Dylan’s move in 1965 from acoustic folk to electrically amplified songs.

 

Yet for all his achievements and acclaim, including the Nobel Prize for literature, Dylan still has the capacity, and the urge, to catch his public unaware. There is no resting on laurels from him, no loafing about on crowded sidewalks. He wants to be at once canonical and elusive. As he told a newspaper interviewer in 1984: “I don’t think I’m gonna be really understood until maybe 100 years from now.â€

 

If the riddle will finally be cracked in 2084, like one of those esoteric mathematical puzzles for which million-dollar prizes are offered, then it will mark the end of a vast profusion of exegesis, speculation and pedantry.

are you still awake there?

 

https://www.afr.com/life-and-luxury/arts-an...20210525-p57v04

 

 

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  • 2 months later...
Lieutenant General Frewen also threw his support behind vaccination passports, claiming they were “the future going forward.”

 

What the hell does "the future going forward" mean ? Obviously, it is different from the future going backwards.

Sheeeesh !!!

 

Cheers

J

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The elaborate fantasies I span before going to sleep each night made me far more eager to get to bed than most children.

This is J K Rowling writing , about her new children's book. Must say, the "span" really made me blink and wonder if there was a predictive text problem. Seems it's legitimate as Archaic english. Perhaps that is what J K meant.

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