The relationship between the world of soldiers and the world of civilians has long been a topic of interest to historians and other scholars of war. Joan Beaumont’s significant new book Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War (reviewed in ABR, February 2014) emphasises the importance of considering the war front and home front side by side, and argues that it is impossible to understand one without the other. In recent work I have been undertaking, recovering the traces of the language of Australian soldiers in World War I, I was intrigued by the way in which the press throughout the war years commented on, and wrote about, this language.
Slang and the Australian soldier
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Amanda Laugesen is a historian, lexicographer, and Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC), Australian National University. She is the author of several books and many articles on aspects of Australian and US History. Her book on Australian soldier slang of World War I is due out from Oxford University Press later this year. The ANDC researches Australian English, edits Australia’s Oxford Dictionaries, and blogs regularly at www.ozwords.org. This is the first in a new series of bimonthly columns on language.
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