blog 21: in which I sing, “If you’re daggy and you know it, clap your hands!”

Not so long ago there was a lot of debate about the Australian Government considering allowing the Parallel Import of books. One of the major concerns was that cheaper American editions of Australian books would replace the original Australian editions. I would hate to see this happen as our unique Australian voice and stories could be lost.

For example, I was thrilled to have my book Don’t Call Me Ishmael! published in America but I wouldn’t want that version to be the one that Australians buy, since it has been edited and adjusted to cater for the American market.

Apart from changes in spelling, in the US edition Ishmael uses words like ‘mom’ rather than ‘mum’ and a chapter about a Rugby Union match has been changed to feature American Football or Gridiron. Other books suffer even more severe changes such as having the story relocated to America. There are some things that get lost in ‘translation’ as well.

There is a line in the Australian version of DCM Ishmael where Ishmael describes the love of his life, Kelly Faulkner as making ‘a daggy face’. When I read the copy proofs of the US edition they had written, that Kelly Faulkner made ‘a caring face.’ Obviously they weren’t familiar with the word ‘daggy’ or ‘dag’. I suggested they try ‘dopey’ or ‘goofy’ or ‘stupid’ even though I don’t think any these has quite the same meaning as ‘daggy’.

If we only get to read Americanised versions of our novels the danger is that some of our uniquely Australian language might die out. And I love the word ‘daggy’! I like the whole idea of it. I particularly like when someone calls themselves a dag. To me it shows that person doesn’t take themselves too seriously, that they can laugh at the fact that maybe they don’t always fit in with the trend, that maybe they’re not always the height of fashion and sophistication, that maybe sometimes they wear some item of clothing or listen to certain music or watch a particular TV show, not because it might make them appear cool or part of the group, but simply because for some unaccountable reason they actually like it and are happy to say so. They are daggy and proud!

Even some of the most sophisticated, talented and admired Australians have acknowledged their ‘inner dag’ and that only makes me like them more. See here.

So in celebration of all things daggy, I have decided to resurrect the DAG CLUB which had its first airing a while back when I was the resident blogger for a couple of months on Insideadog (or Insideadag as I like to call it).

If you think you have what it takes to join the DAG CLUB, why not send a comment and outline the nature of your dagginess (daggicity? daggishness?). Is there something you do, something you like, something about you that marks you out from the common herd and says ‘Dag’?

Perhaps you might like to indicate your current DAG level as outlined below.

Example of Level 3 Dagging.

                                  Level 1: a bit of a dag

                                  Level 2: such a dag

                                  Level 3: a real dag

                                  Level 4: a complete dag

                                  Level 5: an absolute dag 

Of course, if you don’t wish to reveal the actual nature of your dagginess then just send something like the following statement and you’ll feel like a new person.

“My name is ________ and I am  a DAG.”

Naturally no application to join the DAG CLUB will be refused since anyone who responds to this post would have to be at the very least ‘a bit a dag’ anyway, right? 

And yes, I do realise that there exists the very real possibility that this blog will get absolutely no replies at all.  But you know what? I’m totally cool with that.

After all, what could be more appropriate and daggy than for me to end up being President and sole member of my very own Dag Club!


PS And remember, the first rule of Dag Club is: talk incessantly about Dag Club.


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13 Responses to blog 21: in which I sing, “If you’re daggy and you know it, clap your hands!”

  1. And now I see…a place to fit finally. Thank you.


  2. Hello Michael, my name’s Dimity and I’m a recovering Level 4 Dag. I unaccountably have the same appearance and outlook as I had 28 years ago and may never ever be able to extract myself from the 80s. My hands are red and hurting from clapping. May I join your club?


  3. Belinda says:

    BTW, I think I am at least a Category 3. *clap clap clap*


  4. Belinda says:

    My name is Belinda, and I’m a dag. The other day I wore socks with Birkenstock clogs. I’m so daggy I wish I could hulahoop, but after years of trying I still cannot. I am a librarian and I live in the suburbs. I was recently one of only 2 people to attend a Jane Austen themed hightea dressed in regency era clothing. The other person was a daggy librarian friend of mine, who I’d talked into dressing up with me.


  5. Natalie says:

    That’s a great bit of hooping there MGB! Daggy is as daggy does! I’m right there with you.


  6. I hate to think what they would do to my book for the American market Michael. Would they make me change it to their megafauna do you think? I would think they would want their children to learn about different sports, the colloquial language of other countries, etc. How sad that they wrap them in cotton wool and don’t exposes them to other cultures.


  7. Lynne Lumsden Green says:

    Hi. My name is Lynne, and I admit to being a lifelong dag. I think my collection of toys and collectables and books speak for me in this respect.


  8. My name is Elaine and I’m a Dag! I wear my dressing gown over jeans, jumpers, and with my fluffy slippers for winter and don’t care who sees me. I do take my dressing gown and slippers off if I have to leave the house though, so I guess I’m only a bit of a dag.


  9. Given that members of said club would be expected to laugh in the face of social standards, would it then be acceptable – hypothetically – for members to invite other members over for cheese-on-toast and coffee (sans steamed milk) ‘cos they couldn’t be naffed going to an actual café (which would necessitate changing out of trackie pants and lived-in ugg boots) even if they HADN’T bothered washing the breakfast dishes? I tell ya Michael, you could well be breaking new ground here. Just imagine … a social life without pretence and lofty expectations. Can’t see it catching on in Sydney but =P
    ps. Do I still need to make the obvious admission?


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