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.
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.