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Beattie's Had A Gutful Of Americanisms

March 10, 2003


This is the text of a media statement by the Premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie.

Peter Beattie, Premier of Queensland Premier Peter Beattie is keen for educators and media outlets to avoid using Americanisms.

"I've had a gutful. All we hear is Yankee phrases and we are losing our own language.

"America might control the world, but we must control and keep our own language.

"The world knows us for: "G'day mate", Anzacs, Wallabies and Kangaroos. And what's more we've got top sheilas and good blokes, utes and we have a coldie around the barbie.

"Beauty mate!"

"We don't need diapers, candy, ketchup, trash cans and fries - we've got nappies, lollies, tomato sauce, rubbish tins and chips.

"Our success internationally comes from us being recognised as a proud stand-alone nation in the South Pacific - not as the 51st State.

"Some other examples of our language being lost to Americanisms include:

  • We say footpath or pavement, they say sidewalk;

  • Car park against parking lot;

  • we say take-away they say take out;

  • you ring someone, you don't call them;

  • we call them mobiles they call them cell phones;

  • we drive four-wheel drives not recreational vehicles;

  • we wear jumpers not sweaters; and

  • we go to the pictures not the movies.

"Let's get fair dinkum and keep the language that's ours ours," he said.

"I got into trouble last week for respectfully calling women sheilas. When I was growing up such an expression was acceptable and respectful.

"There were top sheilas and good blokes. Such an expression was, and is, a term of endearment," said the Premier.

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