Detritus

Grow Up

I’m turning 26 soon, but there are some adult things I still haven’t worked out. For example, I just washed the dishes and slopped water all over myself. I feel like I should be able to wash the dishes water-slop free by now.

Something else I don’t know how to do is reject someone. A guy I don’t really know texted asking if I wanted to go for coffee. Maybe he was asking me out, or maybe it was a friend thing, but I don’t want either. So what do I say? “Sorry, I’m busy”. Who is too busy for coffee? It only takes ten minutes, or three if you’re drinking a latte in Canberra. I haven’t replied yet, which is its own form of cruel drawn-out slow-dawning rejection. That type of rejection turns me into a rageasaurus when I’m at its receiving end. Hey, I know what I can do. I’ll blog about it, and if he googles my name he will find out what’s going on. Nah, he can’t spell my name so that won’t happen.

And I know that some people, including family members, are going to be like, “Why don’t you just go for coffee? Give him a chance! What’s the worst thing that can happen?” and if I had tonnes of social spoons to throw around, I would. But I don’t, so I won’t. And besides, what if I do go for coffee and he did mean it like a date? Then it’s even more complicated.

The Usj and the Guy

I have been in Canberra six weeks and I’ve pretty well settled into a routine. I’ve got my daily/weekly usj (short for usual) places sorted. For coffee I’ve got my home usj and my uni usj. I’ve got a pub usj and my Centrelink usj, although they are usually visited in reverse order[1].

Trigger warning: Dad you might want to skip this next paragraph.

There is your usj, and then there is your Guy. For things you need every so often. In Canberra I don’t have a hairdressing Guy (usually a girl), a film developing/reprinting Guy. I don’t know a guy who does colour printing on custom paper (for beanie labels). I tried to google a film photography place but the prices were astronomical.  The zip on my jacket broke, and the Lawyer has a Zip Guy, but he didn’t hold spare zips (you have to supply it), so no good. So rather than try and find my own Guys I’m just going to take the easy route and save up these tasks to do in Victoria, where I already have my Guys for various tasks.

Australian English

I am doing a class this semester called Dictionaries and Dictionary-Making. Today we had a fieldtrip, a whole 50 metres away from our tutorial room, to the Dictionary Centre at ANU. Among other projects, they are working on the Australian National Dictionary Second Edition, containing words that are only in Australian English. Apparently when the first edition came out in 1988 there was a big buzz because the concept of Australian English was a novel one. Now they are looking to put out a second edition next year.

While looking at the Australian National Dictionary Second Edition, we discussed the word “selfie”. It drives me crazy, the hype around “selfie” since usage spread worldwide. Everyone’s all “ooh this new word selfie” and I’m like, “Bitch please, I was using that word in 2003.” I know that makes me sound like an insufferable hipster, but it’s true. I have a very specific memory of meeting Ollie, the piano player from Cat Empire, and saying “Let’s take a selfie!” and he was like “What’s that?” and I shoved a camera in front of us and clicked and he said, “Oh, self-portrait.”

I was arguing with the lovely lady in the Dictionary Centre that it is an Australian English word, and she said A) they can’t prove it and B) the usage has spread so far that even if it were Australian in origin, it’s not strictly an Australian word anymore.

They only take written work as evidence, not online (even if it’s a newspaper article), and anecdotal evidence such as my story about Ollie from Cat Empire doesn’t count for anything. As for the Australian origin, my argument is that it is still an Australian word, just that people overseas are using it. Like “kangaroo”. Or like my using the American word “dude”.

Apparently my nationalism only comes out linguistically.

Also, did anyone else know that “Mary” can mean an Aboriginal woman, or a non-white woman? I didn’t.

 

1 This is a joke. I don’t really drink after going to Centrelink. I usually take myself out for coffee as a reward for dealing with the dudes there.

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