L De Winter

(Investigator #29, 1992 November)

One of the philosophical bases of modern radical feminism is that our very language oppresses women. Therefore in order to assist in stamping out this alleged oppression we must pander to those who would destroy our language.

There is another group in existence that has via the subtle world of advertising made us pander to them. This is the Bible translation industry. We are made to feel that unless we have the latest translation or version then we are not full and complete Christians. And the publishing and printing companies are reaping a financial harvest of plenty!

The Good News Bible is a non-scholarly but quite acceptable translation into modern colloquial English, the language which is generally spoken in Australia. Yet the Bible translation industry decided to make the Bible more understandable for Australians.

Yet Australians speak standard English with minimum variation!

And what does this unnecessary version give readers so that they might think they have something new? "Sick" instead of "ill"; "paddock" instead of "field"; "people" instead of "persons"; "dinner" instead of "supper". This linguistic triumph gives us "jailed" instead of "imprisoned", only the spelling is incorrect, it should be spelled "gaoled".

However, given the colloquial English usage, perhaps "rooster" instead of "cock" is at least one justifiable change!


Ask of him Ask him for
Be on guard Watch out
Bound Tied up
Bushel of corn Bag of wheat
Chicks Chickens
Cock Rooster
Dish Plate
Fasten Do up
Field Paddock
Fields Farms
Fix your hair Do your hair
Imprisoned Jailed
Lighting Landing
Manure Fertiliser
Mock Make fun of
Motioned Signalled
Noon Midday
Not at all! Not likely!
Oxen Bullock
Penny Cent
Persons People
Pounds Dollars
Refuse Garbage
Riverside Riverbank
Rivers overflowed Rivers flooded
Seized Grabbed
Sheep fold Sheepyard
Sows in the field Plants in the ground
Spoils Goes bad
Take up   Pick up