Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Question?

I can't say I have noticed it in city people, but that is not to say they don't do it. It seems to be something Victorian country folk do. I won't say which towns they are as the people concerned could readily identify themselves, but they are two towns, one in the north of the state and another in the east.

The first was interviewed on radio before the federal election. From her name to every statement she made, her voice rose at the end of her sentence as if she was asking a question. I am not talking about a small rise, I mean a big one.

I'm Carla? I lived here for fifteen years? We've seen a huge reduction in water flow? And so forth.

Then another a day's drive away, interviewed on tv, again a woman and exactly the same. Michael sleeps here? Sarah sleeps here?

What is going on here? Is it something new? Something I have never noticed? Is it only country people? Is it only women? Is that how you speak?

Names have been changed to protect the guilty.


  1. Nah, heaps do upper inflection thingie at the end of sentences, although it's become a dying auditory foible in urban areas and thrives in rural areas?

  2. Although we understand exactly what the mannerism means to convey - that 'you agree with me do you not?' -
    it is a class thing.
    Nobody with a decent education does it (unless with ironic intent).

    In it's favour though, it is a neat economy of speech.

    My absolute bete noir is
    "Yeah ... No ..." which comes as a response to almost anything.

  3. PSST: on an unrelated note, AAMI stadium LED lights are turning on tonight at 6:15PM.

    Hopefully it's photo-worthy as an example of some nice modern architecture... hopefully.

  4. I agree with Ann O'Dyne about the 'Yes/No' response or should that be 'Yeah/No'?. It has erupted in recent years especially amongst sportsmen. Where on earth did it originate?

    As for upward inflection at the end of sentences, I thought that was what we Aussies were noted for...

  5. Anonymous6:23 pm

    She'll be right mate?

  6. Victor, are you too young to remember 'Kylie Moll' and her 'yeah but no but yeah' and 'she goes, she goes yeah'?

  7. Ahhh Jah Teh, thanks for the tip. I'm certainly not too young to remember who you are talking about.

  8. Anonymous11:51 pm

    Victor is correct; the upward inflection is considered a part of the Aussie accent, albeit a relatively recent one. I read about it in an academic book on Australian English. I'd never heard of it before but now, when I speak to friends and family back home, I can hear it. It's spoken in rural and urban areas. Don't worry Andrew, I haven't heard you using it ... yet! V.

  9. There are language variations around Australia, but the upward inflection tends to be more class-based than geographically-based, I suspect. The one city, country generalisation I'd make, language wise, is that people from the country are more likely to open a conversation with "where are you from?", as opposed to "what do you do"? This tends to be about establishing common connections. I am unaware of the "which school did you go to" question attributed to people from Melbourne is apocryphal. I've never been asked it in Sydney.

  10. It is getting the search words right Jayne. There is plenty about Australian upward inflection on the net, so I find now.

    I see Ann. But I wonder why they want agreement on a statement. Yeah no is becoming more widespread now.

    Great LX. I hope the news services cover it.

    Victor, I just have not noticed it. Yeah no has spread quickly.

    Anon, that just sounds so wrong.

    Now that is interesting Jahteh. I can't recall Koily Moll doing that but certainly Vicky Pollard in League of Gentlemen.

    Ok V. Is it that recent? I just read that it was first noticed back during WW2.

    James, it is only among certain circles that what school you went to is asked. Given how many working class now send their kids to private school, it has become pretty irrelevant. Grrrr, don't get me started.

  11. "orrh my teacha, Miss Thingy, she goes ... she goes ... oh she just goes"
    (KM snaps chewy back into mouth)

  12. Haha Ann. Was it art imitating life or the other way around? I started hearing school kids saying that.

  13. Anonymous11:55 am

    Sorry I should have been clearer - the use of upward inflection in Australian English has been increasing in recent years. The boffins aren't sure why. V.

  14. That's a queer thing V. I will certainly be listening for it from now on. Don't seem to hear it much on tv. I wonder what is stimulating it?

  15. Anonymous4:42 pm

    SIMON SANTOW: Is that something a bit old-fashioned with regards to you? You're just not a computer user?

    FRED NILE: Yes, no I use my Blackberry. On reading internet messages and…

    3 of his staff, 200,000 hits

    and your taxes paying them for every minute.
    say, 60,000 per staffer,
    one hit per minute = 1000 hours per staffer, div by 40 hour week,
    = 6 months salary x 3 staffers on say, $40k pa. why would we pay $60k for 3 nongs to surf the web nonstop for 6 months without inhaling?

  16. Anonymous4:44 pm

    PS: if wallowing in pron is so corrupting then those 3 must be pretty sick by now and taxes will be paying for their psychotherapy.
    Any sExx crimes in ACT and the cops should go straight to their places.
    peace and lerrve, brownie

  17. It had to happen to Nile sooner or later Brownie. I just invented a saying, he who stands on the highest pedestal has the furtherest to fall.

  18. I'm with you, I speak to a lot of country peeps on the phone and they do the upward inflection thing. And they always start with "I'm from the country". In my head I say back to them, it's ok, i won't hold it against you this time.

  19. I can just imagine Fen. I hear at work, I'm from Sydney, with the rising inflection, and probably not misplaced in that case. I think, no need to apologise.