Disturbing trend in Upside-Down Doppelganger America:
AS if following the fashion and food fads of Uncle Sam was not enough, young Australians are increasingly adopting a US twang in their everyday speech.
..."It's called the prestige model," Professor Sussex said. "Prestige is a very powerful motive and they (teenagers) will go with the pronunciation that belongs to the most impressive context.
...He said one of the most notable differences in pronunciations was the emphasis put on the first syllable of a word.
"We're now hearing DIS-tribute, RE-search and CIG-arette quite regularly. This is an American pattern we are starting to pick up and follow."
It was not just pronunciations that were being Americanised but our spelling, vocabulary and grammar as well, he said.
"We're seeing more and more examples of American words used in place of Australian words such as sidewalk for footpath and park brake, instead of handbrake," Professor Sussex said.
"There is a service centre at Hervey Bay spelt 'center' and a 'fitness center' on the way to Cleveland.
"Most of the words of approval we use now are American - great, cool, neat, filthy and fat. Australian terms like ace and grouse are now almost invisible, as is 'hooroo' for goodbye."
He said it did not help that most of Australia's singers used an American accent - singing "lurve" instead of "love".
...Speech teacher June Finney said anything American was highly regarded by young people and it "stood to reason" pronunciations were changing to mimic the American accent.
"We live in a period where anything goes and sadly that seems to apply to our speech as well," Ms Finney said.