L for Laconic Larrikinism
Aussies have a rep. A couple of reps, actually. A reputation for being laconic (I’m not, but I can be excused for having been born elsewhere) and a reputation for being larrikins. I might have been one of those in my younger days: I am way, way too old to be one now!
I always think the classic example of the Aussie tendancy towards brevity in comparison to other nations is a simple joke I heard years ago and which exists in many different versions on the web. I even found a version today on a church website, describing Jesus. Strange, but true.
American: “This is a manually-operated horticultural earth-turning implement.”
Aussie: “It’s a bloody spade!”
I am NOT picking on our friends, the Americans! However, it never ceases to amaze me how two countries from essentially the same origin (England) ended up so culturally and linguistically different. When I wrote D for Deprecation, I made similar comparisons.
Aussies do tend toward being a laconic lot, big on the use of irony. I once read an interview with an American author who had moved here and she said it took her a good two years to get used to Aussie humour. I have frequently been taken seriously over the internet when I have been joking. We are probably lucky we haven’t started a world war by accident.
As for larrikinism, I found the following clip on YouTube, I hope the accent doesn’t prove too much of a problem. If you are the easily offended type, I suggest you don’t watch.
Then there is this clip – much more tasteful, I assure you! The description of the clip reads, “The Australians arrive in France in WW1. Their laconic humour and disregard for authority rubs the English Gentleman officer up the wrong way.”
I remember sitting in an airport lounge once, don’t ask me where, listening to a very loud conversation between two non-Australian businessmen trying to out do each other. In what I am not sure, because despite listening to them use a lot of very big words for some 30 minutes, I had no idea what they were talking about. Maybe I was just homesick!
Our version would probably have been along the lines of this.
“Win the contract?”
“Bonza. Wanna beer, mate?”
Sadly, I have to say, times have changed. In business at least, we are now “seeking clarity” or deciding on “granularity”, “moving forward” and “having conversations” with the best of them. We even “commoditize” and “monitize”. With the “z”.
I leave you all with this one. Banned in New Zealand, which surprises me, but it was OK in Aussie land. Very laconic.
Visit http://myatozchallenge.com/find/countries/ to find more countries and articles on the A – Z Challenge.
Related articles on this site:
- A For Arid
- B for Balls and Barracking
- C for Crime
- D for Deprecation
- E for Employment
- F for Fair Go
- G for Grass, Greenery, Gardens
- H for Health, Home and Happiness
- I for Immigration
- J for Jellyfish
- K for Koala
- Our A – Z of Australia