The Great War produced its own idiom and slang. Many of the new words and phrases created during the long conflict, such as ‘tank’ and ‘barrage’, became part of standard English, although often with a different nuance of meaning.
The recording of Australian soldier slang was seen as important at the end of the war. It was recognised as being integral ... More
Historical dictionaries depend on quotations to exemplify how a word is used over time. An unsung hero of Australian lexicography, who contributed more than 100,000 quotations to the Australian National Dictionary (AND) and Oxford English Dictionary (OED) over a period of thirty years, died two years ago this month. Mr Chris ... More
When the ALP conference voted to amend the party platform on same-sex marriage at the end of last year, there was a flurry of debate in magazines, newspapers, and online. The platform now states: ‘Labor will amend the Marriage Act to ensure equal access to marriage under statute for all adult couples irrespective of sex who have a mutual commitment to a shared life.’ For lexicographers, thi ... More
A few years ago, Peter Austin and David Nathan, two Australian linguists working at the School of African and Oriental Studies in London, discovered that their dictionary of Kamilaroi, an Aboriginal language of New South Wales, was for sale on Amazon. The only problem was that they had not put it there and it had someone else’s name on it. Philip M. Parker, having found their Kamilaroi/Ga ... More
Every day for the past few months, the Sydney linguist Michael Walsh has been sitting in the Mitchell Library poring over old manuscripts. He is extracting old wordlists of Aboriginal languages from the library’s rich collection of early British settler diaries, missionary field notes, and unpublished historical documents for a project funded by the State Library of New South Wales and Rio Ti ... More
by Barry J. Blake
Oxford University Press, $24.95 hb, 339 pp, 9780199579280
The ‘secret language’ of the title of this book covers many kinds and levels of secrecy (things hidden and concealed), and a ... More
From the issue:
- Ron Radford reviews 'Australian Art Exhibitions: Opening our eyes' by Joanna Mendelssohn et al.
- Alice Nelson reviews 'Cedar Valley' by Holly Throsby
News from the Editor's Desk - January-February 2019
- Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Back from the Brink, 1997–2001: The Howard Government Volume II' edited by Tom Frame
- Alex Tighe reviews 'Net Loss: The inner life in the digital age (Quarterly Essay 72)' by Sebastian Smee
- 'Jim Carroll’s Ass', a new poem by Alice Notley