First names (real ones!)(long)

Anita Graham amgraham at
Sun Jan 16 22:14:32 EST 2000

> >a lot more than Sally and I probably do (and assuming we both
> speak fairly
> standard >Australian English).
> I speak Standard - the Tasmanian variety - where the Irish "oi" sound gets
> insinuated into our "eye" sound.
> Where were you born, Anita? If you're a Sydneyite of the Educated Classes
> you probably sound more Cultivated than I do. Sometimes I hear Syndey/Uni
> accents and they come over almost as British RP.

I was born in WA - but I probably speak a mix of Standard/Cultivated most of
the time.
People have been known to ask when I came to Australia, but I can hear my
accent getting broader and broader as I age - and I think I'm about the same
age as you, Sally. (Born 1957, 42 heading for 43.)

> And when I speak to an English editor - oh dear! I imagine the poor lady
> wincing every time I open my mouth! It isn't cultural cringe,
> exactly, just
> that I can "hear" how flat my accent probably seems to her.

I had that experience in October when a US friend was visiting. Normally
with visitors I try to speak a more English RP accent, but with her all I
could hear was a very, very flat Australian accent.

> For the benefit of the non-Aus people here, "Broad" Australian is the one
> you probably associate with Paul Hogan in his "Crocodile Dundee" role.
> "Standard" is what most of the people on the soap "Neighbours" speak. So
> does actor Bryan Brown. "Cultivated" is more like BBC English to our ears,
> though the English themselves probably wouldn't think so!

The differences are pretty subtle, and accents tend to be city/country
biased rather than definitely regional. I tend to think of Sydney/East Coast
accents as broader than mine, and country (especially N. Queensland) as very


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