When living in the US, I would often describe my academic speciality to Americans, and have them mis-hear me in a very consistent way.

But after 10 months back in Australia I’d forgotten how my accent and field interact. Which led to a painfully familiar exchange with the person sitting next to me on the plane from Salt Lake City to San Francisco yesterday.

Him: So, what do you do?

Me: I’m a labour economist.

Him: Really? And what does a library economist do?

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3 Responses to Deweynomics

  1. I was in a meeting in New Jersey on Tuesday, where it was decided there were two options to solve a particular issue. I got asked which solution would be easier to implement in software, I replied, “It is much of a muchness”. That sparked half an hour of debate. One bloke even said to me accusingly, “You can’t do that to a noun!”.

  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    On her first visit here, we couldn’t work out why Gweneth, my American wife, kept turning down offers for a “cuppa”. Likewise, she couldn’t work out why we kept on offering her a “cobber”. She thought the one she had was quite enough.

  3. My wife is American too (from joisey), her first trip to Australia, we went down to Lygon Street and immersed ourselves in the culture there. We were in a pizzeria and she ordered a “pie”. The bloke said, “We dont sell pies here?” I had to explain that in New York a cheese pizza is called a pie. We also had problems ordering her a “cheese pie” until we worked out it was called a Margherita pizza in Australia.

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