Icing on the Cake – Curiouser and curiouser …

Comments (0) Susie Dunn

So much change and potential have been in the air in our region, that our heads can spin. I’m sad there seems an almost inbuilt negativity in some attitudes that almost wishes for doom and gloom. Those attitudes never built anything.

And although I’ve lived in some disparate rural regions and very much understand the importance of a sense of identity, I am sad to see that a group in Guyra seems to be stuck on “process” and willing to forego benefit. And as for the whole “Canberra APVMA team working out of Maccas” story, it seems so surreal as to be a form of playful sabotage out of a tale by Kafka.

So for this column I’m going to join Alice and stroll through Wonderland instead. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, “it means just what I choose it to mean …”

  Does it matter how we use words? For example, do we live in the New England or New England? As a friend – grinding her teeth – said, “We don’t say we’re going to The England, do we?” What about that very-big-little-made-up word BREXIT, which is giving world history a shake? Lately the word “election” holds more reasonance than usual wherever we live. This is a community column, so I’ll stick to word meanings e.g the word “launch” seems changed … it now comes at the end of a political campaign, instead of at the beginning. And a policy “announcement” is released before it is made. Oh, Alice. Then there was when “cool” was “hot” – or vice versa – I forget …

Now there’s pre-autumn fashion – would that be summer? And there’s a Vegan Butcher.

“Glamping” is now in the OED – a tourism business I often wonder about for us. You may have picked up that “quirky” is a word often pointing to my interests. The Eighties word “Foodie” is derisory now. “Innovation “ in the digital world, Tim Rayner of UTS says, means “self-organising teams, fast ideas and cheap customer experiments,” rather than the result of careful and probably slow development.  I guess that works.

A serious discussion can be had over using the word “indigenous”. Many aboriginal people I know don’t like its use, as it can arguably stretch to those generationally born here (e.g. like me?) Margaret Walford prefers “Aboriginal – from the original – and she has told the Governor-General so. I rather agree with her.

One “scientifically justifiable”- but actual “typo” word mistake – in a proof of a Melbourne University paper on increased Australian temperatures set off uproar among climate sceptics, resulting in a four-year delay in checking and publication – ending with the original conclusion!

Economic and political times are undergoing “seismic” change. I was always told that was when opportunities arise. Presenting ourselves “energetically “ with “infectious enthusiasm” can help market us. And telling some of our quirkier stories doesn’t go amiss in attracting attention.

The Business Alliance and the UNE Business School have together reported that more than half local businesses are “holding steady or growing”. The initiatives progressed under the experienced and decisive Administrator are bearing fruit, in contrast to what came to be seen as endless Council bickering. National financial projections are improving both generally and for retail, on top of a very good agricultural season. Our local business groups are working on drawing people together and collaborating on key challenges such as transport, labour and access to like-minded business people. “Collaborator” was a word with unfortunate implications in WWII – now it seems vital. Let’s hope for a fresh, positive Council in September.

With everything happening in the world, “balance” sounds like a good word to me. “Optimism” should be a prime ingredient in the work of icing our particular cake.

Susie Dunn.

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