Thursday, September 24, 2009

Talk proper Aussie English

Unlike my blog, which could be described as a mad woman's breakfast, some blogs are very tightly focused. I don't think we see in Australia an erroneous use of quotation marks but clearly wherever this blog is focused, there are plenty. The blog of Unnecessary Quotation Marks.

Our ABC has a Standing Committee on Spoken English, SCOSE. It publishes guidelines for ABC broadcasters about correct English, standards, foreign pronunciations etc. I assume this very useful little guide is published online by SCOSE. I am afraid I read every page, sad hey. But given most bloggers are quite literate, I think you may enjoy ABC Radio National Online Style Guide. The writer does not take him/herself to seriously. A snip follows.


a listener has kindly pointed out that 'foetus' is not the correct spelling according to the British Medical Association. That's good enough for us.


  1. 1. don't sell yourself short - Madwoman's BRUNCH at the very least.

    2. 'guidelines for ABC broadcasters about correct English' is a laugh when they drive me nuts saying "on the back of the Nikkei (or whatever)"
    when they mean "as a result of"

    Yrs faithfully,
    Pedant, of Pakenham Inn

  2. Anonymous6:56 pm

    A historical event? NEVER! It will always be an historical event to me. I'm all for allowing languages to evolve and develop but this is going too far! How dare the ABC take away my 'an'. : ) Vik.

  3. I doubt some of them have ever looked at the guide MS.

    With you on that one Vik.

  4. Hi Andrew

    Re fetus - The OED agrees and offers foetus as an alternative spelling. I think you'll find that print journalism has its own spelling conventions. Why this would matter in radio has me baffled.

    I would like to know why El Niño is regularly pronounced El Nee-no on the ABC instead of (the correct), El Nin-yo



  5. Think I chose the worst example Pants. Of course it does not matter with spoken word.

    I did not know about the pronunciation of El Nino, but now I know why some ABC broadcasters say El Nin yo.The El Nino brothers have a lot to answer for.

  6. had to bookmark the ABC Radio National Online Style Guide - fascinating stuff