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Australia, we don’t know you, but we love you, say our American friends

 
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 10:21 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Engineer, that is absolutely not the case & I don't know how you formed that opinion (if you're serious, that is). You'll just have to take my word (or not) on that.
If anything, I always understood "USians" to be a light, almost affectionate term.

I can recall, quite a while ago, a US A2Ker handing me a bit of a serve for using that term & feeling quite bewildered.
I no longer use it because apparently some people do feel offended by it, though I honestly can't understand why they would.
And I would never use terms like "chinks" or "gooks". Ever.
But hey, "USians" is hardly in the same league, is it?
What's the difference between that & "Ozzians"?
I don't feel in the least bit offended or put-down by being called that.

Of course I am serious. When you want to be polite, you call people what they call themselves. When you don't, you make up a name for them. We learn this lesson early on in the schoolyard. Don't like a group, create a name for them. You would never use chinks or gooks because you've been taught that it's offensive, but on the very few occasions I've heard someone do that, they intended no offense, that's just what everyone in their circle said. I grew up in the US South at a time when whites routinely called blacks "niggers", something that is now recognized as possibly the worst slur in the US. No one who was white thought much about it when in white company and sometimes even in mixed race company. I have never heard of one people creating a name for another people as a sign of affection. It seems to me the very act of naming someone other than as they name themselves is hostile. As for "Oz", I will show my ignorance of Australia by saying I thought that was a colloquial term that you bestowed upon yourself. I'd be interested to hear its history if that is not correct. It might be like "Yankee", a term of derision that was embraced by its intended victims and worn proudly. As for usian, I'm not blowing a head gasket over it, but if I heard someone use it while traveling abroad, I would have absolutely no doubt that I was in a place I was not wanted.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 10:28 pm
Yea, me too.
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 10:34 pm
@hingehead,
hingehead wrote:
When I was six I used to love singing 'Home, home on the range'. How's that for awareness of the US? Wink

So did I, HH. Of course I was living in Kansas, and it was our State Song.

Later, I was a big fan of Men at Work!
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 10:40 pm
@Ticomaya,
Heh. Does Kansas really have antelopes? I used to wonder how they got there from Africa.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 10:42 pm
@hingehead,
http://www.gpnc.org/pronghor.htm

"It can sprint as fast as 60 mph and can sustain a speed of 30 mph for miles"
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 10:44 pm
@engineer,
Well what can I say?

To me it is as simple as this:

US (country) & ians = people who live in the US.

Oz* (meaning Australia) & ians = people who live in Australia.

(Like Californians are people who live in California.)

Light-hearted, harmless & not-to-be taken-too seriously titles. And partly "internet shorthand".

* Australian is called "Oz" in many countries other than Australia, btw.
It has been for quite a few years now. "Oz" is short for the "Aus" in Australia.( Much like Australians are called "Aussies")
Many non-Australians on A2K refer to Australia as "Oz'.
It is no big deal. I rather like it.

You can believe me or not when I say that "USian", when it is used on threads here, is absolutely not meant to be a slur, along the lines of calling someone a "nigger", a "gook" or a "chink" .... those are abhorrent racist put-downs.

As I said in my previous post, I no longer use "USians" because some US citizens here take objection to it. I'm happy to comply if that's the case.
But for the life of me I honestly don't get the anger & the sense of offense when there is absolutely none intended.
Honestly. Smile
fobvius
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 10:46 pm
@hingehead,
Quote:
Quote:

There must be some more euphonic moniker


Seppos?


merkins?
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 10:56 pm
Aussies are generally lazy with speech and names. Comes with the climate. We are parochial and take pleasure in running down those Aussies from states other than the one we were born in.

Ockers is what I was raised to say we were. OZ is simply easier to type, I guess, and lends that air of mystery to foriegners. The land down under is too much of a mouthful, except in that great song by a Welsh singer.

Banana-benders come from Queensland, which is odd because most of our bananas come from New South Wales.

NSW is currently referred to as Asia Minor, due to the large percentage of Asians living and working there.

Victorians are Mexicans, because they come from "over the border", and once they arrive in QLD, it's hard to get rid of them. (sorry msolga. lol)

South Australians are either the Gate-keepers, or the Turd-handlers, because our major river system drains into the ocean through Adelaide, so presumably all of the country's **** ends up there.

Sand-gropers come from Western Australia, because most of that state is perceived (wrongly) to be sandy.

The Northern Territory has people from all over the country, and if you haven't lived there for more than ten years, you are a Mexican, no matter where you came from. Locals are simply territorians.

Tasmania, long derided for having an inbred population, and a history of being used as a penal colony for the rest of the country, is simply referred to as Tazzy. Not many travelling Taswegians claim their heritage, preferring to adopt whatever state they are in at the time.

Then there is New Zealand, which isn't really part of Australia, but there seems to be more of them over here than are left back there. We call the place Un Zud, which is a play on their clipped speech patterns, and those from Un Zud are simply Kiwis, which is their native bird.

All of the above is said from the angle of being a banana bender, although I've lived in every state and territory for extended periods, except for Taswegia.

There is one other place, but nobody likes to talk much about that, becuase it is home to our federal political base, which might explain their permissive laws regarding pornography, fireworks, and drug usage.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 10:59 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

To me it is as simple as this:

US (country) & ians = people who live in the US.

Oz* (meaning Australia) & ians = people who live in Australia.

(Like Californians are people who live in California.)

...

But for the life of me I honestly don't get the anger & the sense of offense when there is absolutely none intended.

I'm not burning a lot of emotional units over this and my knowledge of you personally has been formed over the course of hundreds (thousands?) of posts, not just over a word (that you don't even use.) That said, I do not live in the country of "us". I live in the United States of America. This whole argument has been done before on other threads and with far more heat than I can bother to generate, but it still goes back to my previous post - you call people what they call themselves. When you insist on doing otherwise (which you are not), then I can't see how you can claim innocent intentions.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:02 pm
@msolga,
You can call us what you want - maybe USians will stick. Extremely strange sounding to me, and as you can gather, annoying.

I suppose Amerinds won't work..
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  0  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:03 pm
@engineer,
I'm not seething with anger, either, engineer. Smile
I was just trying to explain.
Shall we shake hands & leave it here & just agree that we see things differently?
hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:04 pm
@msolga,
On a side note - I think Oz is good (apart from the fact we live in a fictional la la land) because of the pronunciation/phonetics. We call ourselves Aussies (pronounced ozzies) but some 'people from the USA' pronounce it 'ossies' (rhymes with hossies) which is a little cringeworthy from our perspective.

I often wonder if that's related to different spellings between UK/AUS and the USA where we tend to use an S but USA tend to use Z in verbs like organise/organize ostracise/ostracize analyse/analyze.
Ticomaya
 
  3  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:11 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Calling people from the US Americans is like calling everyone from Europe French.

So ... there's nothing wrong with it.
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:11 pm
@hingehead,
hingehead wrote:
Heh. Does Kansas really have antelopes?

Not that I've ever seen. But I was pretty much a city boy when I lived there.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  0  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:13 pm
@hingehead,
Yeah, it is rather strange to be called an "ossie" Smile
I grates a little, I agree. But generally people mean well & are trying to embrace the local lingo, so it's forgivable. Sort of. Wink

Could be the different spellings, I'm not sure.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:13 pm
Strange coincidence: I just came from a meeting where one of the people was a man born and raised in Australia who's been a US citizen for many years now and whom I know quite well. When I spotted him, I yelled out, "Well, the man from OZ!" Because of the interactions on this thread, I immediately bit my tongue and felt embarassed for having said that. He, on the other hand, beamed broadly and stuck out his hand for a handshake. For a minue I thought he was going to give me a bear hug. But Don is quite reserved.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:28 pm
@hingehead,
I have not read all of the posts of this thread.

Americans, in general, love Australia and Australians.

Thank Crocodile Dundee, The Man From Snowy Mountain, or Mad Max, but they do.

Or thank the Irish connection: " A Wild Colonial Boy"

America was a British colony that threw off the Homeland's embrace, and, much later on, so was Australia.

We're brothers dude!


I've been to Australia numerous times and enjoyed every visit. I have a number of Australian friends with whom I remain connected.

My impression as a visitor was that Australians, generally, like America and
Americans.

A2K is, in the main, a liberal dominated forum, and certainly every one of our Aussie members is a liberal: You, dlowan, msolga, etc.

If I've missed a conservation Aussie, make yourself known and I will apologize.

Thing is I know there are Australian conservatives, and so do you.

In any case you probably have a better understanding of whether or not the American love for Australia is unrequited.

Based on my experience it is not, but you may want to argue otherwise. You can be ideological or honest in this regard.

Hell, liberals have infested the entire world and so there must be a rabbit's load of them in Oz.

aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:54 pm
I formed my impression of Australia from reading 'A Town Like Alice' and 'The Thorn Birds' when I was ten or eleven. Then I really loved 'Muriel's Wedding' when I watched that. I got a sense of more present day and urban Austalian life from that- don't know if it's accurate at all.
My parents spent a summer in Australia about twenty years ago and they both LOVED it - my dad brought home loads of pictures and books about Australia and I got some of my impressions about it from that. Also the fact that he wanted to go again - he was a world traveler and in his mind there wasn't enough time to visit every place he wanted to see, so the fact that he wanted to go back to Australia as opposed to someplace like China - which he also really loved- made me think it must have been a special place.
I've never been. I'd love to go, but can't picture doing the twenty hour flight. Not that I'm afraid of flying - I just can't picture sitting on a plane that long.
But who knows - New Zealand also beckons so maybe one day I will.

Anyway - my impression of it is that it's a vast and wild country with stunning scenery and beautiful beaches. I think it probably has amazing sunrises and sunsets. The people seem to like a good time.
And oh yeah, there's this Australian roots musician I really like - his name is something like King something something. I've been trying to remember and find him on youtube so I could download some of his stuff - can't remember enough of his name to find it - if someone knows I'd be appreciative.

I'd like to visit Australia but I don't think I'd like to live there - too isolated for me. England is about the extent of disconnected 'island' I could ever do. So I'm happy my European ancestors decided on America for me.

I call myself American because I was born in the United States of America.
If Mexican people wanted to be called Mexican of North America - I'd call them Americans too. If Canadians wanted to be called Canadians of North America, I'd call them Americans too. If Brazilians wanted to be called Brazilians of South America - I'd call them Americans too.

I've never heard any United States citizens object to being called Americans. This might be something new - but I've never heard it.

I actually love being called a Yank over here - because though born a southerner, I was raised in the north and I am proud to be a Yankee and in fact, the Yankees are my team and Derek Jeter is my man - so Yank away.

I call Australia 'Australia and Australians Australians. Oz and Ozzian wouldn't come naturally to me.
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Nov, 2011 11:58 pm
@aidan,
Hmmm, wondering if the "King" you are referring to is Johnny O'Keefe?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kP3BS23PNE

Now that takes me back.
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Nov, 2011 12:09 am
@Builder,
No Builder - this is a younger, present-day musician. 'King' is part of his stage name. I saw him on Jules Holland and LOVED him. I posted one of his songs here on 'What are you listening to right now' about a year ago - but I can't remember the rest of his name now. I think it had something to do with crocodiles or alligators or snakes or something - I'm thinking some sort of reptile association in terms of the rest of his name for some reason.

Anyway - got to get ready for work now - I'll try to figure it out and look him up when I get home tonight. I thought he was AWESOME! I mean, I just stopped in my tracks when I heard him the first time.
 

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