You just touched down at the Australian National Airport. You’re champing at the bit to experience the fully sick country you’ve heard so much about. But before you disembark, or just plain deplane, here’s a couple of warnings. First off, we speak English Down Here with a conspicuous lack of any accent. Such phonetic purity can be disorienting at first to visitors, like you, who’ve spent their lives immersed in a national or regional dialect.
After your awe wears off, however, a second culture shock awaits: the brands you prefer and trust are nowhere to be seen! (If it makes you feel any better, newly-paroled Aussies suffer exactly the same disappointment on arrival in non-Australian territory, mutatis mutandis.)
But The Berg has good news for you, for a change. You read right, reader: it’s not as bad as you thought.
The truth is, all the big names are still around—they’ve just been renamed. Here are the corporate Australianisms that trip most people up on their maiden voyage Down Here.
|International English||Australian English|
|Burger King||His Majesty, The Royal Burger Consort|
|Latin Fever||Convulsions The Nightclub|
|Chunder’s™ Food||Chandarsubramania with Chef Chandarsubramaniam|
|Cheap Dragon BYOB Eat-In N Takeout||Niggardly Dragon BYO Dine In & Takeaway*|
|Schindler’s Elevators||SchinLiftCorp LLC|
|Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone||Harry Potter and the Philosophy Midterm|
|Asian in a Storage Container||Thai in a Box|
|Hooters, Inc., Family Restaurants||Large Tips or Bust!|
|La Giardia Italian Eat’N’Dash||La Giardia Gastro Pubs|
|The Drug Lord||The Pharmacy King|
For better or worse (and we can safely rule out the former), there’s nothing much any of us can do about this megacorporate habit. According to a 2015 survey in Business Weekly, the most common excuses for rebranding were:
• political correctness gone perfectly sensible
• to avoid any risk of hilarity in a world that’s more deeply divided along dialectical fault-lines than ever
• to respect local religious, cultural and ethnic groups, especially the violent ones
• leading US brands “look funny” from the left side of the road
• forget everything you thought you knew about chicken that was fried in Kentucky ■
*This pioneer and icon of the Sino-Yiddish fusion movement traded as The Jewish Dragon until 1972, when the owners finally bowed to community outkvetch and chose the name we’re familiar with today.