Australian English and National Identity

Decent Essays

What does Australian English look and sound like today, and how does it reflect our identity as a nation?
Language use in Australia constantly and rapidly changes to reflect the ever-evolving Australian national identity. It is being influenced by American culture, through its pervasive media, and altered to create a unique identity that addresses the needs of the younger Australians. Technology, the loss and gain of expressions, changing perception of taboo words and political correctness also attribute to the way that language has evolved to fabricate our national identity. American culture is increasingly affecting the way Australians use language. The dominance and omnipresence of the US entertainment industry, be it film, …show more content…

Many young Australians no longer use or are even familiar with many rich and expressive expressions of Australian culture that the older would have regularly used. Idioms and expressions like ‘beyond the black stump’ and ‘you’ve got Buckley’s’ have become unknown to many young Australians. However, Australian expressions are not just on the decline in the youth population. New expressions are also being coined, though many are much ruder, like ‘as much chance as pushing shit uphill with a rubber fork’ or ‘face like a festered pickle’ have also added character to Australian English and accelerated linguistic evolution, particularly when used in preference to older expressions by the young. As Bruce Moore says, “Australian English is central to the process of giving voice to our Australian identity: in important ways, we are what we speak, and we are how we speak”. This great transformation in the expression-use by the people of Australia will define our linguistic identity in the future and reflects clearly our evolving national identity and who we choose to be.
The national identity of Australia has also developed strangely when dealing with taboo, especially with the younger Australians. Many youths no longer find many profanities as rude or taboo as the older generations, in particular with words like “fuck”, “shit” and “bloody” which used to be packed with a certain punch. In fact, many of these words are actually used as interjections (“Shit! No way!”),

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