The Progressive Decline Of Our Linguistic Identity

Submitted By mcl0027
Words: 736
Pages: 3

In an opinion piece written by Bruce Guthrie on July 7th, 2013, in the Sunday Age, he discussed the progressive decline of our linguistic identity due to the exposure of American pop culture in Australia. The article holds a strong disapproving tone from Bruce Guthrie on how common American phrases and words are replacing the words that are well known in the Australian vocabulary.

Guthrie starts by starting with an obvious rhetorical question that makes the reader question the status of the issue as the reader likely does not know what 'meat-safe cots' means. This paragraph aims to make the reader think about the words that are no longer commonplace in our society. Later Guthrie explains the meaning behind the word 'meat-safe cots' with a sarcastic attitude, implying that no-one really knows the value behind this forgotten word. This appeals to patriotism for the Australian way. Guthrie continues by comparing the 'meat-safe cots' to the treatment of asylum seekers, which have been a political issue for years, to link it metaphorically to something we all should know about. This would make the word more memorable to the reader and carry along Guthrie's message that our linguistic identity is fading from it's former glory.

Further into the article, Guthrie continues to list 5 more 'word-of-the-months' and states that they are far more interesting compared to the previous words. This continues to support Guthrie's opinion on how the Australian language is unique to our identity and is being taken away as the American words continue to become the norm. A sentence is then written with all five Australian words to appeal to the tradition of our linguistic identity. The reader would find the sentence informative and would continue to support Guthrie's point that our language is a thing to be preserved rather than replaced.

The article continues on to change to a more enthusiastic tone as Guthrie congratulates the Australian linguists who have kept the old Australian words within the horizon of our interests. This is short-lived however as the article takes on a negative tone to convey a message that these interesting words may never make it into common use. This shift of tone makes the reader agree with the preservation of the Australian language. It would appeal to the old customs of the Australian culture that is a part of our identity.

Near the end Guthrie blames the PR tourism campaigns from Paul Hogan and Lara Bingle as they have given Australia an undesirable image. Evidence of our image to the tourists are given and describes a negative stereotype of Australians being 'beer-swilling, prawn-grilling beach-bums'. This makes the reader feel disappointed in the actions of Paul Hogan and Lara Bingle. This is also presented along a rebuttal of understanding