Before the internet, we Brits viewed Australia as a place full of animals that killed people and people who would soon move to Clapham. But in this-post internet era, the country has repositioned itself as the kings of Web 3.Whoa, offering the world the cultural delights of neknominations, memes, getting rekt on pingas, Tony Abbott, killer animals, the drunk guy who was 'waiting for a mate', and bong smoking lords of YouTube (click here to read our interview with the BongLord).
Typical Australian event of one giant animal swallowing another.
Overseeing these developments has been one great leveller; a constant that's remained despite seismic shifts in society: The accent. But where did it come from? And why has it proved so resilient to change? According to Dean Frenkel, a public speaking and communication lecturer at Melbourne’s Victoria University, it's because of one thing: Booze.
In an article for The Age, Frenkel claims "drunken Aussie speak" was crafted by hammered early settlers (convicts from England, or something) and subsequently passed down through slightly more sober generations.
Typical Australian convict.
The krux of his argument is as follows:
“Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns… Aussie-speak developed in the early days of colonial settlement from a cocktail of English, Irish, Aboriginal and German – before another mystery influence was slipped into the mix.”
“The average Australian speaks to just two thirds capacity – with one third of our articulator muscles always sedentary as if lying on the couch; and that's just concerning articulation.”
“Missing consonants can include missing ‘t’s (impordant), ‘l’s (Austraya) and ‘s’s (yesh), while many of our vowels are lazily transformed into other vowels, especially ‘a’s to ‘e’s (stending) and ‘i’s (New South Wyles), and ‘i’s to ‘oi’s (noight).”
Frenkel stresses that these dialects have nothing to do with class.