Over the last week I seem to have come across an unusually large number of blogs discussing the oddities of the English language. So here is my little contribution to the discussion relating to regional dialects.
Most English speakers from outside the antipodes are unable to distinguish the difference between New Zealand and Australian English. But there are differences, particularly in vowel shifts. In Australian English (Strine) The “I” sound in hit has moved to sound more like heat. In New Zealand English (Nyu Zild), Vowels have moved further but in the opposite direction, resulting in hit sounding more like hut.
Nyu Zild has also seen shift in “e” in red and pen so that it sounds like rid and pin to British and American speakers. A similar shift has occurred with the “a” sound as in mat and sad sound like met and said.
So If I were to say “Peck the pack of pickles“, an American might hear “Pick the peck of puckles“. If I said “Fix the bit that’s bent” they might hear “Fucks the but thets bint“.
A New Zealander can sound like Lyn of Tawa:
Or like Member of Parliament Maurice Williamson during his speech supporting the the final reading of the Definition of Marriage Bill:
Oh what a beautiful sound!
So what’s the relevance to the Title of this post?
A Kiwi was driving on an Australian motorway, and noticed some graffiti on a overpass, which read NZ sux (New Zealand sucks). A few days later, he passed under the overpass, but now someone had added AUS nil. Get it?
14 Mar, 2015 at 9:50 pm
Honestly, that passed above my shoulders.
That speech, was awesome, I heard a while back and it resonated with me in a big way.
14 Mar, 2015 at 10:18 pm
Maurice Williamson was a fine politician but he had an unfortunate end to his political career.
I’ve heard more than one looney say that it was God’s way of punishing him for supporting gay marriage.
14 Mar, 2015 at 10:33 pm
That was quite an unfortunate end.
If someone believes that is god punishing him, how does the same person believe the same god is all loving and merciful or what does the believer mean when they use such words
15 Mar, 2015 at 4:26 pm
That is something one would need to ask of those who make such claims. Some people seem to be able to make cause and effect connections where the those of a more reasonable mindset cannot. As Williamson mentioned in his speech, he’d even been told that the reason NZ was suffering a drought at the time was because the Parliament was considering the gay marriage legislation. While it might be the belief of a few religious extremists, almost all NZ Christians would disagree. I can’t speak for the rest of the world.
15 Mar, 2015 at 2:52 am
I didn’t understand a word Lynn said, but I thought the speech by Morris Williamson was outstanding.
15 Mar, 2015 at 8:33 am
Both Lyn and Maurice Would be cross at your misspelling of their names 🙂
That clip by Lyn of Tawa was made back in the late 1970s. That accent was less common back then and heard mainly from young females in lower to middle socio-economic groups. It has been been gaining traction ever since. Linguists tell us that the best way of predicting how accents will change is by listening to a population’s younger women.
Maurice’s accent is close to the way my parents speak, and I’m probably closer to him than to Lyn, although many Americans get confused by my “i”, “a” and “e” vowel shifts.
15 Mar, 2015 at 4:20 am
Bwahahaha! Funny graffiti Barry. The two videos are great – hilarious.
3 Jun, 2016 at 9:16 am
Hahaha… You went through a lot of trouble to help us understand that one joke.. 😉
22 Oct, 2016 at 5:24 pm
As an Aussie I loved the graffiti joke lol 🙂