Bogan=rural?

Language variety, diversity, expression, equality. I thought that these were Australian values. Well, they are. Not everybody acts on them, though.

To me, language is a huge indicator of who we are, where we come from, even where we are going. And as a linguistics student, I feel kind of entitled to be able to analyse people’s use of language, their accent, their words, their punctuation, to get a feel for them.

Unfortunately this doesn’t always work… example 1: when I thought someone was gay. I still think that that was his fault. But it put a dampener on our “relationship”.

There are times, though, when someone’s opinion can be pretty clear, and pretty hurtful.

Living in Melbourne, I hear I huge variety of accents. I love that they all come to this city and that I get to hear and see a lot of them. But the other day, at a work meeting, a girl with similar education to myself, and I were talking about different accents in Australia.

We were saying that you can’t really tell what part of Australia a person is from based on their accent. I thought it was a good discussion until she said “There’s just like bogan… or, well, country and city.”

So, apparently, everyone from the country speaks bogan, and therefore, presumably, is a bogan. I felt like asking her what she thinks my accent is then shutting her down (amid applause and firecrackers, popping champagne bottles and red roses being flung at my feet) with a witty remark.

There were three reasons why I couldn’t do this:

  1. It was an amicable work meeting. That’s not normal amicable work meeting behaviour
  2. I couldn’t think of a witty remark. Still can’t, really
  3. I was just stumped. Who actually thinks so narrowly?

Being a Caucasian 22 year old girl (girl? woman?) with a good education, I very rarely feel discriminated against, but that was one time. And it was not a pleasant feeling. Writing that has just opened my eyes – I should, and will be, more proactive in lessening discrimination, as well as pursuing my love of language and free self expression in a variety of voices for all.

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Author: oufg

"It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will." That's me. With challenges along the way, this 21 year old is trying to find the best way to enjoy life with a love of many things, like food, reading, gardening, writing, learning, eating, working, and a rather fickle mind. If you want, tell me what you'd like me to write about - it's exhilarating to go off on tangents, like exploring an unwritten book

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