Informal language has a variety of functions in Australian society. What do you see as some of the crucial roles of informal language in contemporary Australia? Informal language has a variety of functions in Australian society. The main function of informal language has to do with Australia’s culture. Slang and informal language gives a sense of belonging, pride, mateship, informality and laid-backness, which is an accurate description of a typical Australian. In Australian society slang is a common feature of spoken and written conversation. The expletive bloody is very common in Australian language.
Bloody is quite typical of Australian language that it can be used as a hyphen in many various words and phrases, for example “fan-bloody-tastic”. The suffix on the end of bloody is another feature worth noting as it does emphasise the Australian accent. Bloody has now become an important indicator of Australianness and of cultural values such as friendliness, informality, laid-backness, and mateship (Kate Burridge, Gift of the Gob, ABC Books 2012). The word mate, which is another way of saying friend, is typical Australian slang and it is mainly used in an informal context.
The word mate suggests openness, at least to a relationship of equals (Richard Castles, The Big Issue 4-17 November 2008). The openness created from using the word mate is a positive face feature possibly leading to build rapport. There are right and wrong times to use slang and with the word mate for example, calling a woman mate runs the risk of offence, as it’s an ambiguous word and in a formal situation like a job interview, using the word mate especially referring to if it is your boss, is not something that is acceptable depending on the relationship with the person.
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