Thursday, November 14, 2013

quicko: not on

Something that is just not done/not right/not cool/frowned upon.  Not updating your blog ... it's just not on.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

quicko: head boy/girl

I thought Head Boys and Girls were found, well, pretty much in Harry Potter.  I had no idea they were real-world figures until I recently was chatting to a headmaster (headmasters too!) and he was telling me about the selection process for these roles.  I asked what their duties were and evidently one of the major ones is having lunch with the headmaster once a week.  I think I'd have been perfect for the role aroundabout eleven years ago!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

quicko: santa claus is coming to town

As of November 1.  Seems to be the unofficial day for Australia to begin Christmas decorating.  Not that it remotely feels like Christmas, but there's ... wildly out-of-place greenery and gaudy ornaments in most shopping centers these days.

Monday, November 11, 2013

happy remembrance/veterans day

Australia (and the Commonwealth at large) celebrated Remembrance Day today at 11 am.  It's observed mainly by standing for 2 minutes of silence and the purchasing of/wearing of poppies.  Oddly enough, previously I'd never known about the 2 minutes of silence ... guess my workplaces for the first 5 years were a bit slack ...

America celebrates Veterans Day (wikipedia and Garry say this is the correct way to go -- no apostrophe.  I'm not convinced, but, well, I'll be edgy this year ...) today, which differs from Remembrance Day in that it commemorates those still alive, whereas our Memorial Day is to remember those who have died.

Remembrance Day differs from the Australian ANZAC Day in that ANZACs are just soldiers from Australia/New Zealand, but Remembrance Day is for those from England and the rest of the Commonwealth, too, thus potentially explaining why ANZAC Day is, from what I gather, really the bigger deal here.  (There's a public holiday for ANZAC Day, always exactly on the day, though just two minutes of silence at work for Remembrance Day.)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

quicko: pajamas

Evidently the American pronunciation is "also" the Australian one.  (I was congratulated on saying "pajamas" with an Australian accent ... only to discover what the Australian considered to be an American accent for it was ... a non-existent word.)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

quicko: cake walks

Now possibly Australians do these all the time, but I've been here nearly six years and I've yet to be invited to a cake walk, so I'm going to go with the descriptor "not all that common" or else possibly "things we never invite Americans to."

Friday, November 8, 2013

quicko: what all

I was recently called out for using "what all" at the beginning of a question -- "What all comes on the burger?" -- or some such syntactical nightmare, according to my friends.  I saw nothing wrong with my construction (I am an English teacher!  Of course it was correct!), but the Australians around me let loose with an array of unpleasantries regarding my use of the English language.  I suppose, upon reflection, it is not of the highest possible register, but, really, is the highest possible register strictly necessary when, say, ordering a burger?  All in all, I stand by what all.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

quicko: specialized interests

One my Australian friends recently observed to me that Americans tend to have random, quirky, specialized interests.  I'm not sure how scientific this theory is, but I see what he's getting at.  There's the collections for one thing.  My mom has lots of pictures of chickens.  Another American friend collects everything moose related.  Most American households have at least one fish-themed bathroom, too, but potentially that's another blog post altogether.

Then there's hobbies.  My (Australian) boyfriend's sepak takraw obsession notwithstanding, Americans tend to have kind of quirky pastimes.  (Okay, now I go to think of them my mind's gone blank.  All I can come up with genuine anecdotal evidence of is racquetball, quilting and dumpster diving -- none of which are that unusual and all of which are also done here.)  I'll get back to you on precisely what.

Another realm is that of obscure knowledge.  I'll consider myself a prime example here.  I'm no expert, but I can still tell you everything I learned in elementary school (and I was a pretty darn good student) about Marie Curie, Marie Antoinette, Abigail Adams, Cleopatra, many American presidents and, for the clincher, Idaho.  (It's the Gem State.)

I'm sure you could argue all of this could apply in Australia, too, but, well, I'm not arguing that point at the moment.  It was a genuine comment from a genuine Australian that Americans are oddly intrigued ... and, well, I think I'm really kind of proud of it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

quicko: bub and mum

If I were to pick the Australian word annoying me most at the moment, I think I’d go with “bub.”  “Bub,” for the Americans reading, is baby talk for “baby” – not the nickname of your psycho neighborhood redneck.

I guess it’s getting my goat these days because it pops up so often in my facebook newsfeed – by adults, who theoretically had long since graduated from baby talk themselves.  One would think.
Correspondingly, I’m also quite un-fond (yes, of course that’s a word) of “mum” and even more un-fond of “mummy.”  “Mummy” is just plainly the wrong word – it’s November, we’re fully past Halloween territory and only an exceedingly limited number of you can claim any real legitimacy to Egyptian archaeology – and “Mum” is too reminiscent thereof.  Besides, it’s weird.

Perhaps you’ve now gathered that the “mum and bub both home and doing well” number is rather topping my hit-list of phrases (along with the perpetually irksome “look like” – “but what does that look like in our lives?”).  It’s not that I mind hearing about new babies (I’d much prefer baby news than preschooler news, if I had to pick), I just don’t like the words.  Looking for an alternative?  Rubber baby bugger bumpers are way better.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013