ALL IN A NAME?
I enthusiastically support Maurits Zwankhuizen’s suggestion ( Casting out the devil, AG 137) of allocating longstanding Aboriginal nomenclature to Australian native animals, because it shows due respect and makes for a more accurate and interesting language. When I was a resident of the Flinders Ranges, I witnessed the pride of the Adnyamathanha on referencing that their word ‘witchetty’ was commonly used across Australia for that delicious fat white grub found within the roots and trunks of trees. I remember the appreciation they shared when I chose to learn some of their nouns and use them regularly in conversations.
COLIN MURDOCH, PORT LINCOLN SA
I thoroughly endorse Maurits Zwankhuizen’s sentiments in his article Casting out the devil (AG 137). Renaming our fauna, in my mind, should be a higher priority than renaming geographical locations.This is because so many of our fauna are erroneously named for the reasons given by Maurits. I was quite disappointed a few years ago when I learnt that emu may have come from a Portuguese word for ostrich! Something to keep in mind with this process is trying to use words the non-Aboriginal tongue has a reasonable chance of getting around. If the word is ‘unpronounceable’ for the rest of us, it is unlikely to catch on.
KEN AND LYNNE COWEN, BILOELA, QLD