View Full Version : Tell us what you really think!

12th Mar 2008, 09:17
This is what Jug Suraiya from the Times of India reckons of Qantas today

It's not just the Australian XI that has a predilection for expletives undeleted. If Qantas, the national carrier is anything to go by, so does Down Under's corporate world. A current series of newspaper ads for the airline has the headline: Where the bloody hell are you?

The mild epithet is obviously a gawky attempt at catching the reader's attention through the use of provocative, slightly insulting language which stands out in stark contrast to the saccharine-sweet blandishments of conventional ads: while most ads might be described as kiss-ass, the Qantas ad is kick-ass.

That seems to sum up Australia's national ethos, or the way in which it prefers to perceive itself: a brash, slightly juvenile, rough diamond, exuding a decided whiff of locker-room testosterone. In many ways it's a defensive reflex, as though to say 'Yeah, OK, so we trace our antecedents to a bunch of deported convicts who took over this place after having wiped out almost all the Abos (aboriginals ), so what the bloody hell are you going to do about it, you obnoxious weed?'

It's self-vindication via a defiant and somewhat dated machismo, which smells faintly of mothballs. Qantas's use of 'bloody hell' is instructive in that the original British term has almost become a linguistic period piece, having long been replaced in most parts of the Englishspeaking world by far more raucous and raunchy swear words from America, the new source of Anglophone slang. Along with 'bloke' and 'blighter', 'bloody' has largely yielded to variations of the more potent F-word.

All language is a barometer of a community's cultural climate, and emotive swear words semantics on steroids are the most revealing of all. How we cuss often reveals who we are. In the case of Strine, or Australian English, there is evidence of ambivalence between an outworn nostalgia for the old Mother Country, Britain, and an in-your-face determination to break the shackles of the past and be uniquely different. So a Blighty-borrowed 'bloody hell' coexists uneasily with pure Strinisms, as found in 'Waltzing Matilda' , often described as Australia's unofficial national anthem and which features words like 'billabong' , 'coolibah' , 'swagman ' and 'jumbuck' . Though all these words are of Australian coinage, 'Matilda ' itself is said to have European origins and dates back to the Thirty Years War in which a 'Matilda' was a female camp-follower. Later the word came to mean a soldier's coat or blanket which could be used to carry his rolled-up equipment in (hence the old British slang term 'baggage' which means a slatternly woman). So Waltzing Matilda Australia's counterpart of England's Britannia can genealogically be traced to an old whore.

Australia's problem, as reflected in its language, is that it has yet to sever the umbilical cord with England, in particular, and the West, in general. This has resulted in a linguistic arrested development. The sooner Australia accepts its geographical identity as a (largely, but not completely) white-skinned member of the Asian hemisphere the sooner it will grow up, language-wise and otherwise. Oz's encounter with Bhajji should already have acquainted it with the rich wealth and deep resonance of desi invective. Maybe Qantas should sign on the Turbanator to beef up its ads. Bloody hell? You must be joking. Let Bhajji turn you cobbers into true-blue MBAs: Masters of Bad Abuse.



12th Mar 2008, 09:23
geographically, i think we are more a Pacific nation, not an Asian nation... and i cant see the need to sever the chord with "the west" :=

Mr Milk
12th Mar 2008, 09:57
Hey Jug, how about get fu(ked mate. your culture calls people dogs and we call them cu*ts. This is what cultural diversity is all about. Having said that i agree with him on our test eleven- what a bunch of sour win at all costs wankers.

Islander Jock
12th Mar 2008, 10:12
"Where the bloody hell are ya"? Probably the most cringeworthy tourism advertising slogan I've ever heard.

One thing is for certain though, a damn sight more of Jug Suraiya's fellow countrymen busting their backsides to come to this cultural wasteland than the other way around.:ok:

Spaghetti Monster
12th Mar 2008, 11:43
Pity that Mr Suraiya has been so busy congratulating himself on his linguistic maturity that he's failed to realise that it was a Tourism Australia ad and nothing to do with Qantas at all. :ugh::ugh::ugh:

12th Mar 2008, 12:42
This guy believes his own publicity.

'Bloody' and 'hell' feature in my daily language, either together or separately.

Islander Jock got it right!


Fun Police
12th Mar 2008, 15:26
well after seeing the ads and making careful notes on the young lady on the beach who asks me "where the bloody hell are you?", it makes me wonder, where the bloody hell am i, and why am i not there??