Friday, November 14, 2008

Laugh, possibly not PC

The Australian Poetry Competition had come down to two finalists;
A university graduate and an old Aboriginal.

They were given a word, and then allowed two minutes to study the word and come up with a poem that contained a certain word.
The word they were given was 'TIMBUKTU'.

First to recite his poem was the university graduate.
He stepped to the microphone and said:

Slowly across the desert sand,
Trekked a lonely caravan
Men on camels two by two
Destination - Timbuktu.
The crowd went crazy! No way could the old Aboriginal top that, they thought.

The old Aboriginal calmly made his way to the microphone and recited;

Me and Tim a huntin' went
Met three whores in a pop up tent
They were three, and we was two
So I bucked the one, and Timbuktu.
The Aboriginal won.

6 comments:

gingatao said...

I've seen this story many times on the internet over the years and I always wonder why he is an Aborigine?

kae said...

Hi gingatao

I think it's a language/pronunciation thing, if you've heard aboriginal people from certain areas speak they do have a very definite 'accent' in their English language. If you haven't heard the accent I really can't explain it.

gingatao said...

I have heard the accent many times. Often from my friends and neighbours. I'm still not sure I understand how it is relevant to the joke but it's probably just my sense of humour that's lacking.

kae said...

Thinking about it, it would be a pidgin accent, so it could work with someone from PNG being the poet, too.

Boy on a bike said...

Accent - yes, as in "Been" being pronounced as "bin".

Richard Sharpe said...

There are about 900 different language groups in PNG. By that, I mean there are 900 different languages, and then there are dialects of those languages. You can imagine how many accents there are in Tok Pisin, the common language of PNG. Tok Pisin is a Pidgin language (literally Tok Pisin means Pidgin Language), but it is a recognised language as opposed to a dialect of English. It borrows heavily from English, German, Chinese, Malay et al, but retains it's own grammatical structure.

Therefore, there is no such thing as a PNG accent. It depends on the speaker's Tok Ples, or mother tongue. To an untrained ear, it often sounds the same, but there are many variations. I'm sure there are some groups for whome an F sound becomes B. In my experience, the closest would be Bougainville. They can't do a V. It comes out a B. It is amusing that Bougainvilleans can't actually say Bougainville. It becomes Boganbil. I guess they are the ones who are right though. It is their island.

Racist bastard that I am, I love the people of PNG. I lived there for a while and thoroughly enjoyed it. I also lived in Darwin for a long time. I can't say I have the same affection for the indigenous people there. Do you think that discrimination is based on the colour of their skin, or on the behaviour of the people I met?