Australia; land of surf, sunshine, more animals capable of killing you than you could shake a stick at, and of course drinking.
The nation has developed a reputation, deserved or not, as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to knocking back the beers, and apparently that pastime is at the heart of the Aussie accent.
Dean Frenkel, a professor and lecturer at Victoria University, Melbourne, has claimed that the Australian conversational twang resulted from a mixture of migrant voices combined with booze.
In an article written for The Age Frenkel says:
The Australian alphabet cocktail was spiked by alcohol. Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns. For the past two centuries, from generation to generation, drunken Aussie-speak continues to be taught by sober parents to their children.
The average Australian speaks to just two thirds capacity – with one third of our articulator muscles always sedentary as if lying on the couch; and that’s just concerning articulation. Missing consonants can include missing “t”s (Impordant), “l”s (Austraya) and “s”s (yesh), while many of our vowels are lazily transformed into other vowels, especially “a”s to “e”s (stending) and “i”s (New South Wyles) and “i”s to “oi”s (noight).”
It sounds pretty plausible.
The professor has raised the point out of criticism, however, calling on compatriots to to stamp out ‘lazy’ speech patterns and improve their communication skills.
He signs off in damning fashion, saying:
Australia, it is no longer acceptable to be smarter than we sound.”
Meanwhile Adam Hills has his own theory.
With Australia playing in the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday it does seem pretty likely that any drunken roots will be fully celebrated as the nation is cheered on.