Dry Norms. "The Default Country: A Lexical Cartography of Twentieth-Century Australia" by J.M. Arthur [review]
Vocabulary is linked to culture in perhaps an obvious way. But it’s not just suasive words and expressions that we have to guard against. There are also the structural patterns of language. These are loaded with bias, too, and they operate at a much more subtle level. It would be interesting to go beyond the lexicon and to see how the relationship between non-indigenous Australians and the Australian place is revealed in those aspects of our language that are more than theoretical. But for those who love words, Arthur presents a lexical treasure trove, full of wonderful insights and illuminating examples. We need more works like "The Default Country" to explain language, and also to expose it.