CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Australia’s coastal communities and their use of the word ‘hell’ have baffled senior literary academics at Oxford Dictionary for many years now.
So much so that the Oxford University Press have sent several experts to the ‘coastie’ townships across Australia to study how they have managed to use this of Mooloolaba, The Gong and more specifically Terrigal, in the New South Wales central coast.
“The concept of calling someone a ‘hell man’ or describing surf conditions as ‘hell choppy’ is a new phenomena for our institution” said OED editor, John Simpson.
“We must look further into this, and see if there has been a possible evolution from the standard English language across the eastern seaboard of Australia”
The Oxford English Dictionary is a descriptive dictionary of the English language, published by the Oxford University Press. It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world. The second edition came to 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, published in 1989.
In linguistics, an adjective a describing word, the main syntactic role of which is to qualify a noun or noun phrase, giving more information about the object signified – and in most civilised English-speaking countries the world ‘hell’ is solely used by religious and folkloric traditions to describe a place or state of torment and punishment in an afterlife.
“I’m hoping we can get some answers. We’ve been invited up to the surf club tonight for a few ‘schooeys’ – whatever they are” said Simpson.
Local volunteer lifeguard and footy club canteen operator, Wendy, says having some big shots from Oxford in town will be ‘hell good’ for the economy.
“Looking forward to it. We might taken them out for a surf. I hope they aren’t hell drop ins like the last pommies we had here”