Message To Staff: “No Yawning”

October 11, 2007

We are currently at what is hopefully the tail end of a bogong moth invasion here in Sydney. There are (seemingly) billions of the little buggers in the city at the moment, lost on their way to their annual vacation in the Snowy Mountains.

Luckily they are more annoying than dangerous and don’t bite, sting or eat your clothes.

The kind management at ACP magazines has, nevertheless, issued a warning to their staff to ‘refrain from yawning’ lest the moths mistake their gobs for a mountain tunnel and fly in for some hibernation action! I’m not sure who that makes the bigger fools – the management for giving the advice, or their staff for needing it! I’m going to be charitable and assume the former.

What’s next I wonder?

‘Would all staff members please be aware of excessive blinking. Closing your eyes for too long may result in being hit by a truck.’
‘When licking your lips, be careful your tongue doesn’t accidentally come into contact with an electrical socket.’
‘Dear staff, please don’t smear your body with honey and jump into beehives.’

What do you think: health and safety gone mad? Or an office prank?

Speaka Da Lingo?

October 5, 2007

Every country has its own way of playing with the language. Local sayings, abbreviations and diminutives play a part in every culture. After three years living in Australia I can safely say that there is a national talent here for it. If you can substitute words, or even better shorten a word and add ‘ie’ or ‘o’ to the end you’ll be talking like a local in no time.

See how many of these Australianisms you can translate (if you’re not Australian. If you are, well that’s too easy 🙂 ):

barbie, postie, dero, abo, kindie, chrissie, relies (or relos), bummos, garbo, ute, swimmers, boardies, cossie, tinny, stubbie, bottleo, cab sav, sav blanc, sav, thongies, circle work, arvo, sanger, chook, schooie, doco, pressie, salvos, ambos, firies, bikie, chockie, daks, grundys, dunny, pokies, esky, munchies, scratchy and veggies.

According to people like Professor Rolly Sussex, an expert on languages, there are more than two thousand of these sorts of words in the Australian language!

And if the word is too short, why not add more syllables to it? When I call an Australian friend of mine here, rather than “Hi Paul”, he always answers:

“Paulosiosanobasausageoff! How you going mate?”

Work that one out if you can!