15 February 2006

As ______ as

In previous posts I have mentioned a few interesting Australian idioms and other linguistic tendencies. As an English teacher, there is one in particular that I find interesting. I am always encouraging my students to show, not tell, in their writing, and to use figurative language to paint a picture for the reader. Australians, however, make frequent use of what I call the incomplete simile. The building is not as big as a mountain, it is simply "as big as." Likewise, the weather is as hot as, my wife is as beautiful as, the luge is as dangerous as, and incomplete similies are as weird as. I bring this up now because I just saw a commercial for the Ford Focus, and the tagline was "Smooth As." Someone in marketing did their homework.
I also find this interesting because Australia has a history of colorful expression. My favorite (which I have never actually heard used, but am told it is still common in rural areas) is "as flash as a rat with a gold tooth." The hip young Sydneysider today reduces this to "as flash as," which I find as sad as.

3 comments:

PJ said...

Hey, I just wanted to let you know that your post was as cool as

Chris said...

Nice one. Now say it with a New England accent.

SilverSpur said...

HELLO ASS! oh....as....not ass. sorry.