Le Baron wrote:Apart from quoll/blut(?) which are just regionalisms,
As far as I can tell it's actually ablute
, which is not a regionalism. I'll admit I couldn't decode it either (I parsed it as "a bloot") because she was saying the word in isolation and this root is most often used in the noun form - ablution
As for quoll
, can it really be classified as a regionalism? It just refers to something that only exists in Australia and most people aren't really aware of. In fact I'd wager that a substantial portion of Australians don't know what a quoll is.
How can anyone who claims to speak English as a first language not know what a knob (of butter) is?
Isn't a knob of butter less than a stick of butter?
Personally I don't believe I've ever used this term but it wouldn't through me for a loop either. I'm certainly surprised Ellen couldn't understand it. I'm also surprised about homogeneity
, for me those are fairly normal words, although I guess the former is much more common in the adjective form (homogenous
Yeah, ablute was a bit tricky because of the way the video is edited and the background graphic is grammatically misleading. I guess it’s not so common these days but I’m a bit older and even my phone’s autocorrect even puts a red line under ablute. You got it though and I know you are Australian. Maybe my phone speaks American English.
I too was shocked by the difficulty Cate’s interlocutors and some here had with “knob”. I guess the “knob” issue in particular shows how difficult it can be to predict where your interlocutor will have have trouble understanding you.
I think your autocorrect got you with “through me for a loop”. That made me search for the origins of “throw me for a loop” and I was surprised to find it is roller coasters!
The interactions are interesting to me.
Sometimes I think Cate could do more to accomodate the fact that she is in the USA - I mean how many Americans are realistically going to know what a quoll is. Surely she knows this.
And other times I think she is genuinely surprised/shocked that a university educated person, ie Sandra Bullock, doesn’t understand “homogeneity”.
And that reminds me of Professor C and Rodriguez in the original article. Could Sandra Bullock file a grievance against Cate if this happened in a workplace?
I see Cate’s reactions as a mixture of genuine shock, micro aggressions and grandstanding.
Cate Blanchett is Australian, has spent a lot of time in the USA and the UK and I think would be more skilled than many at traversing those varieties of English than many. Sometimes she makes misjudgements, sometimes she can’t be ar**d and sometimes she is provocative.
Modifying your language to be understood by non-native speakers is clearly going to be even harder - but I think it is well worth doing ones best to communicate effectively with anyone and everyone.
That said, I sometimes knowingly leave a metaphor in my posts that might be a bit tricky for some forum members - but I don’t want to undersell anyone and I’m pretty sure people here have great search literacy and don’t mind.