Friday, January 25, 2013

Aussie Occa Out the Window

I just read that Dick Smith's commercial for his Aussie products has been banned because of some politically incorrectness that the fun police pulled a face at.  
Now, I was born in this country and is as Australian as the next Aussie, but was that advert so bad?  We use a play on words in our language which goes back to our English/UK heritage; it's called Rhyming Slang. The people in the UK used it first and it came here and we started using it, and it's not so bad once you get used to it.  But nobody uses it much anymore; and when the young generation hears it, they mistake as something horrible and rude when it's not.
There's even an Australian Slang Dictionary which has been published for all of you who think we're mal-adjusted misfits who don't know our way out of a paper bag without a compass and torch.  And that dictionary is getting bigger and bigger each time it's published mainly because of how many people have their own sayings and how many families have their own little ways of talking and communicating.  My Dad even got a word in that dictionary and it's still there; along with a meaning.

Dick Smith isn't a bad person.  He's as Australian as meat pies, Holden cars and Kangaroos (which by the way are not friendly cuddly animals) and he's one of our original and first people here in Australia who opened and maintained his own businesses of Dick Smith Electronics - which is still going with gusto!  Along with Dick Smith, there's Laurie Laurence who opened his first swimming school out at Springwood in Logan City where my brother and I learned to swim (him better than me) in the early 1980's.  This was way, way before Laurie became the big and famous swimming coach everyone knows today and does all those adverts about learn the 5 and surviveYep, he was teaching children as young as 3 to swim when I was a kid... so what he's teaching now isn't new or controversial.
There are other great Aussies who have made it big and yet, when one of them decides to make an advert where he stars in it - for the first time in years - and uses our good old Aussie Occa language from times gone by - as a selling point, everyone is up in arms about how rude and horrible it sounds.  At least he didn't use the usual rude and horrible words getting around the schools and streets right now.  Dick Smith used the words that Australians like myself grew up with as a kid.  And as for those who didn't like the people in the advert saying 'I like Dick.'... excuse me, but that's his name, not something else they're describing (and yes, I'm telling you lot out there of the 'fun police' to get your minds out of the gutter).  

To say I'm disgusted about how this Australian Icon has been treated is dreadful.  It's time we looked at our language here in Australia and began teaching people around us exactly how we speak; instead of hiding our true selves acting so Americanised and proper.  We're Aussies.  Our country was once a prison camp by the English and seeing where we have come from, I'd say, we should be damned proud of our accomplishments and the people who are making us proud.  This includes our language too; by not losing it but teaching every generation around us about it.       


  1. The good old days of true Aussie is long gone out the window. Its because we have too many different cultures living in one country. At the best of times it is best to bite your tongue because too many people are narrow minded these days. They just can't handle a humourous joke or sarcasm.

    1. So, we're expected to change how we speak and express ourselves to pander to others, just because they think one thing means something else?

      Yes, the fun police are most certainly amongst us and they are not the usual people, they are the people who are - as you said - narrow-minded and and can't handle a humourous joke. Personally, they really need to get out more. :)