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  1. #21
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Is Australian English drifting ever more distant from its UK and USA cousins?

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    3. Would you not agree that there is one more English which has every right to be on your "list"? Could not English as a Second Language (ESL) be considered as an important variant with so many giving it a try for better or worse? I have a gut feeling that ESL speakers far outnumber more than one "everyman's local colloquial"
    Non-native speaker outnumber native speakers, but they are not speaking the same thing, so I don't think it could be lumped together as a single variant. However, the influence and impact that non-native speakers have on the language will increase in the world we have today. There is no table where people sit and decide on the future of English, and English is not the exclusive property of native speakers.

  2. #22
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Is Australian English drifting ever more distant from its UK and USA cousins?

    Quote Originally Posted by JarekSteliga View Post
    Indeed this comes as a revelation to me. I normally automatically assume that heads of state speak "Oxford" or "BBC" or "Harvard" English of their respective country. Also I believe that the language we speak is one of the strongest means of expression of our identity and if a politician wants to ensure a large or influential following in a democratic society, they first and foremost should make sure that the language they speak coincides or resonates well with that of their supporters
    We have had prime ministers who spoke with regional accents. Tony Blair's accent changed- abroad, he sounded more Oxford English, and in the UK features like the glottal stop crept in when he wanted to be more 'of the people'.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Is Australian English drifting ever more distant from its UK and USA cousins?

    Harold Wilson, the Labour politician, retained the Yorkshire accent he probably felt was more in keeping with the socialist party he led. Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher, however, Conservative party leaders, strove to emulate the accent of the upper classes.

  4. #24
    JarekSteliga is offline Member
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    Default Re: Is Australian English drifting ever more distant from its UK and USA cousins?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Harold Wilson, the Labour politician, retained the Yorkshire accent he probably felt was more in keeping with the socialist party he led. Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher, however, Conservative party leaders, strove to emulate the accent of the upper classes.
    On that note, as I was listening today to David Cameron's speech delivered in Davos it dawned on me how (to my foreign ear) the English he uses is free from any "accent". I believe his speeches could be used (unabridged) in English classes as a teaching aid . And I think this goes further than just the lack of an accent. For instance he used this phrase (free from any idiom): "year after year" where perhaps it would have been more automatic for an English native speaker to say: "year in year out" which (idiomatic) expression some ESL speakers might not have understood. Even if this last example is found by native speakers groundless, I will still hold that the current British PM deliberately styles his language to be more readily undestood by ESL speakers. This also serves to support his self alleged non-insular views

  5. #25
    JarekSteliga is offline Member
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    Default Re: Is Australian English drifting ever more distant from its UK and USA cousins?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    But you should understand that Julia Gillard has a very "broad" accent which is not typical of how most cultured, urban Australians speak. She is a product of the trade unions and the political Left, and you shouldn't assume that she isn't speaking in the argot of prisons and street slang.

    By stealing the show in many world news bulletins today Julia Gillard afforded laaaarge audiences an opportunity to sample her vernicular .
    Last edited by JarekSteliga; 27-Jan-2012 at 07:38.

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