The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

WITH re­gard to Chris­tine Jack­man on the Aus­tralian ac­cent ( Re­view , Novem­ber 3- 4), any­one who has trav­elled across Aus­tralia quickly re­alises that what used to be known as the Aus­tralian drawl is more pro­nounced in the bush than in the cities. Peo­ple in cities speak at a more clipped pace, whereas in the out­back, if you run into your neigh­bour only once a week at the bound­ary fence, ‘‘ How yer go­ing mate?’’ is said more slowly and the syl­la­bles be­come more elon­gated. This evolv­ing ac­cent is then re- ex­ported to city folk. The same thing hap­pens in the farm­ing coun­try of the US Mid­west for the same rea­sons. I was born in Syd­ney to an Aussie mum and Scots dad, and have never had a strong Aus­tralian ac­cent. Nor have many other city dwellers I know. Bruce Maxwell Gold Coast, Queens­land ROSE­MARY Sorensen says im­ported books can be or­dered with­out GST and that this places lo­cal book­sell­ers at a dis­ad­van­tage ( Re­view , Oc­to­ber 27- 28). In Bri­tain there is no value- added tax on books. This may ex­plain in part why books are con­sid­er­ably more ex­pen­sive in Aus­tralia than they are in Bri­tain. Per­haps a Gov­ern­ment ap­par­ently awash with money might con­sider re­mov­ing GST from books, pos­si­bly en­cour­ag­ing more peo­ple to read than to watch DVDs and play com­puter games. At a time when book read­er­ship is ap­par­ently fall­ing, this might give the young gen­er­a­tion a chance to ap­pre­ci­ate the joys of read­ing. He­len Evans Maleny, Queens­land MARK But­ler and his wife are not alone in their grief over the loss of their dog ( Re­view , Oc­to­ber 27- 28). Mark’s poignant and ac­cu­rate nar­ra­tive of their dev­as­ta­tion will touch many a pet owner’s raw nerve. I urge Mark and his wife to ‘‘ get back in the sad­dle’’. I be­lieve the longevity be­stowed on us, as op­posed to the life span of a dog, is a gift not to be wasted. We have the op­por­tu­nity to rel­ish the com­pan­ion­ship of a num­ber of dogs dur­ing our longer lives, and th­ese dogs need the likes of us. Crispin Wal­ters Chapel Hill, Queens­land I LOVED Steve Creedy’s re­view of the Dave Gil­mour DVD ( Re­view , Novem­ber 3- 4) and will be adding it to my Christ­mas wish list but, be­ing the fussy bug­ger I am, I must point out that the line ‘‘ tight as a funeral drum’’ is mis­quoted. The line is ‘‘ tight as a tourni­quet, dry as a funeral drum’’, and it is from the track One of My Turns from The Wall , not Ob­scured by Clouds . L. Pavey Clarence Park, South Aus­tralia THE over­view of Colleen McCul­lough’s Ro­man se­ries ( Re­view , Novem­ber 3- 4) by for­mer NSW pre­mier Bob Carr re­minds read­ers why his state’s schools did not de­cline and fall into that re­duc­tive post­mod­ernism where teach­ers be­come know- noth­ing fa­cil­i­ta­tors whose sole func­tions are to mas­sage ju­ve­nile self- es­teem and coun­sel their cus­tomers that all they needed to know was dub- dub- dub­dot­ting at their key­boards. Bob, you may have left the trains and fer­ries not quite run­ning on time, and the wa­ter sup­ply dry­ing up, but your HSC re­tained in­tegrity and rigour. Leonard Colquhoun In­ver­may, Tas­ma­nia

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