“Aussie” carries on [editorial, 16 February 1918]

[Editor: An editorial published in Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine, no. 2, 16 February 1918.]

“Aussie” carries on.

Aussie falls in again, gratified and encouraged. He feels that way because it has been strikingly indicated to him that his advent in the Aussie Army in France is welcome. And there is every indication that his sojourn will be a happy and useful one.

He has received many letters of praise and appreciation, and some of criticism. He is grateful for both. But he values most the criticism. It is the more helpful. As he told you when he was first taken on strength of the A.I.F., Aussie belongs to you. He wants to give you what you want, not to tell you what you want. But in order to give you what you want you must tell him what you want.

Objection has been taken to his monicker. Some say that Aussie is not a nice word. But Aussie is the name that has been practically universally adopted by the Australian soldier for himself. “Aussie” means “Australian Soldier” and “Australia.” It’s short and friendly-like. One seldom hears the word Australia or Australian used over here in our general conversation. Therefore, it is not for Aussie to judge whether it is a good word or a bad one — whether it is a soul-stirring euphony or a lingual catastrophe. It is used by his cobbers and that’s good enough for Aussie.

Others don’t like our slanguage. But Aussie would remind these friendly critics that there is a lot of slang in the talk of our Army. And whatever defects our Aussie vernacular may have, it certainly has the virtue of being expressive. Aussie merely aims at being a dinkum Aussie — and a dinkum Aussie uses the language of the Aussie. He doesn’t want to be a literary stylist. And, after all, the slang of to-day is the language of to-morrow. The history of the Aussie Army is being given by the Official War Corespondents. Aussie wants to give its spirit — and that can be done only by allowing you to say the things you want to say in your own language and your own way.

Aussie: The Australian Soldiers’ Magazine, no. 2, 16 February 1918, page 33

Editor’s notes:
euphony = a pleasing sound; especially a word, or a harmonious combination of words, formed in such a way so that they are pleasant to hear

monicker = a person’s name, especially a nickname or alias

slanguage = slang; slang language

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