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A very common language

I’m aware of most of the differences between British English (yuck, but it’s the least ambiguous term I can think of) and US English, and I’m pretty aware of what’s going on in US politics, at least on a national level. Australian English and politics can still leave me baffled, however:

PM: I suspected Iraq wheat rort

My comprehension wasn’t helped by the fact that Google News UK listed this as a story, and sourced it to the ‘Daily Telegraph’. I was left wondering what on Earth Tony Blair had actually suspected, and what kind of bizarre mangle his words had been through…

  1. April 14, 2006 at 12:32 am | #1

    I would have said US English and Proper English (whatever that is these days) ;-)


  2. April 14, 2006 at 9:14 pm | #2

    "Rort" seems to be Australian slang for "fraud" – presumably it's attractive to headline-writers because it's shorter.

  3. Mark
    April 17, 2006 at 7:01 am | #3

    Ah, we're stuck with this stuff. Consequence of English being the universal language. It means that a variety of Englishes will pop up. I'll put up with this kind of thing, and the English of the European Commission containing expressions like "comitology" and "mixity" if it means that English is predominant….

  4. April 20, 2006 at 10:22 pm | #4


  5. May 10, 2006 at 7:54 pm | #5

    I was having lunch with an Australian colleague yesterday, and she used the word "rort".

    So thank you for saving me from the necessity of saying something along the lines of "What on earth are you talking about, you ignorant colonial mangler of our glorious language?" – as this type of confrontation is always so embarrassing, isn't it? No matter how essential.

  6. dearieme
    May 12, 2006 at 2:03 am | #6

    What, I was asked, does the Ozzie verb to "dob in" mean? It's being a clipe, I said. "You what?" she said. There's no escape.

  7. Harry
    August 17, 2006 at 1:30 am | #7

    Ah, the sight of a hoon rorting is a sight to behold.

  1. June 5, 2006 at 8:50 pm | #1

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