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Don’t listen to Robyn Archer until she fixes her “diaspora” nonsense

By I-filed 6 April 2012 21

Robyn Archer got national media on Wednesday telling Australians to stop Canberra-bashing (do we care what Sydneysiders say about us? and Melbourne likes us heaps, thanks to our shared political history).

I’m not sure that we should welcome Robyn Archer’s attention. After all, she is responsible for the insult and travesty that is the Canberra “diaspora” website [], giving anyone who has ever visited Canberra licence to give themselves “Canberra diaspora” status. Anyone with a basic command of English should know that the Canberra diaspora is Canberrans not currently in Canberra. By definition. Definitively.

Robyn, your website’s an insult to Canberrans, frankly. I don’t want tourists and parvenus hopping on the “diaspora” website claiming some kind of local status. Get stuffed!

Try spending a week in Jerusalem, returning to Australia, and then claiming that you’re part of the Jewish diaspora. Or spend a weekend at Uluru and come back to the East Coast claiming to be an Aborigine. Robyn: seriously, rename the website something along the lines of “I’ve visited Canberra”. You’re an outsider and you are embarrassing us!

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Don’t listen to Robyn Archer until she fixes her “diaspora” nonsense
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thatsnotme 10:27 pm 07 Apr 12

I-filed said :

thatsnotme said :

I simply feel that if you’re so outraged by misuse of a word that you choose to ignore the intent of a site like this, that you must be quite a sad individual.

It isn’t just the misuse of a word in isolation – I think you’re confusing this issue with people on the internet who grizzle about petty grammar & usage issues. This is a whole website that is skewing the meaning of a Canberra identity through ignorance. That’s a pretty big mistake with pretty big implications. The fact that Robyn Archer and the C100 crew “mean well” doesn’t make it OK.

No, I get it. I understand that you’re upset about more than just a grammatical issue. Yet I still feel that your outrage is laughable. I feel that the implications you mention are actually insignificant, because the vast majority of people who visit this website will take it on face value, without trying to analyse the meaning of its title, and what implications that title has on the messages contained within it.

I’d be interested to hear just how you think a website like this could possibly ‘skew the meaning of a Canberra identity’? Is our identity so fragile, that a website with a misguided identity can force it to shift? I think that many many more people would need to be aware of it, and take every aspect of it as gospel, before that could ever happen.

I dunno, I’ve listened to a few of the stories on there, and if these ‘big implications’ you’re talking about include more people speaking about Canberra in the same way that the people on this site do, then they’re implications I’m willing to accept.

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