19 August 2005

Yes, your mate-liness

OK, can't let this pass uncommented upon. If you just want the headline, Uproar forces Australian parliament to lift ban on saying "mate". Officials had issued a directive to forbid security guards from calling people "mate", which Prime Minister Howard's government had to rescind in embarrassment.

I suppose it's equivalent to a guard calling you "man", "buddy", or "dude", but clearly more culturally charged. I can imagine a similar uproar if the state legislature in California tried to forbid the use of "dude", but only on the basis of the absurdity in the decree, and not on the basis of its cultural relevance in the California vernacular.


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