An all new journey through Australia's Lost Language
This sparkling new book revisits the rich, inventive and rogueish language Hugh Lunn celebrated in his best-selling book Lost for Words, which was reprinted eight times.
A language Australians used to speak, before globalism stole it away.
It was a time when the only phone calls you received were from people you knew. When the people you did business with had surnames; when the blower was a phone, not a machine to blow your leaves onto your neighbour's driveway; when a mobile was a macramé decoration that blew around on string in your 1970s bachelor pad; when secretaries typed with ten fingers and journalists and private eyes typed with two. Now everyone's a one-thumb typist.
you walked in late to a meeting and someone would say: 'We've just been talking about you - nothing good of course.'
you couldn't find something right under your nose and your mother would say: 'If it was a snake it would have bitten you by now.'
you went swimming in the surf and she would say: 'Don't come home drowned.'
you went out to play: 'If you break a leg, don't come running to me.'
you went to the park: 'Off you go, but don't come back with your head under your arm.'
you acted like an idiot and someone inevitably said: 'You don't need pink and grey feathers to be a galah.'
Hugh believes we should save Australianisms, as he fears the day will arrive when we have become monoculturally American, with just 22 dismissive aggressive global TV sit-com phrases to cover all possible situations: OMG … whatever!
The way to save our vanishing language, says Hugh Lunn, is to start teaching Australian children that, like, there is, like, another language, like, apart from American.
Hugh Lunn has written many best-selling books, including Over the Top with Jim (ABC Books 2007), Australia's all time best-selling childhood memoir.
His recent books include Lost for Words, a collection of words and phrases that have drifted out of everyday usage (ABC Books 2006) and The Great Fletch, the dazzling life of Wimbledon larrikin Ken Fletcher (ABC Books, 2008).
As a journalist, Hugh worked for newspapers in Australia and London and was Reuter's correspondent in Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam. He won three national Walkley Awards for feature writing and his book Vietnam: A Reporter's War won the Age Book of the Year and was published in New York. Hugh lives in Queensland.
Words Fail Me: A Journey Through Australia's Lost Language
Harper Collins Australia
Author: Hugh Lunn