10 August 2007

crikey, it's fair dinkum

From the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Fair dinkum: Aussie phrase sparks in-flight dispute

By Jim Tharpe
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/09/07

An Australian tourist upset over her airborne snack says the slang term "fair dinkum" landed her in a fair amount of hot water this week on a flight from Atlanta to Pittsburgh.

Sophie Reynolds, 41, said the problem began about halfway through her Delta Connection flight on SkyWest Airlines when she rejected a snack of crackers and asked the flight attendant for pretzels.

"She said they didn't have any, and I said, 'fair dinkum,' out of frustration," Reynolds said in a telephone interview. The term is frequently used in Australia to express everything — depending on inflection — from amazement to the belief that something is honest and true.

"Say you're telling me a story, and I think it's amazing, I'd say 'fair dinkum,' " said Reynolds, who lives in Queanbeyan, about three hours from Sydney. "If you're telling me a story, and I think you're full of it, I'd say fair dinkum, too."

Reynolds said that after the mid-air misunderstanding another flight attendant requested her passport and copied down her name and other information. Three uniformed officers greeted Reynolds when she exited the flight in Pittsburgh.

"They said, 'You swore at the hostess and there are federal rules against that,' " Reynolds said. "And I said, 'I did not swear at the hostess, I just said 'fair dinkum.' "

A SkyWest official said Thursday the airline is still investigating the incident, and noted "there are two sides to every story."

"Our initial reports indicate it was more than a misunderstanding of the language," said SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow. "We witnessed aggressive behavior throughout the flight."

Snow said the Utah-based airline, which flies under contract to Delta Air Lines, is still trying to contact Reynolds. She said no charges were filed as a result of the incident and Reynolds was allowed to go on her way after a chat with police.

"The safety and comfort our of passengers and crew is our first priority," Snow said. "When other passengers or crew members feel uncomfortable it's our standard procedure to contact law enforcement just as a precaution."
Now in an Australian paper, the Sydney Morning Herald
Fair dinkum! Aussie lingo sparks security scare

Jano Gibson
August 10, 2007 - 3:10PM

Strewth. Crikey. Bloody hell. An Australian woman has reportedly sparked a security scare aboard a US flight after her use of a common Australian phrase was apparently misinterpreted as an act of aggression.

Sophie Reynolds, 41, from Queanbeyan, was flying aboard SkyWest Airlines from Atlanta to Pittsburgh this week when she asked a flight attendant if she could have a pack of pretzels instead of crackers.

"[The flight attendant] said they didn't have any [pretzels], and I said, 'Fair dinkum,' out of frustration," Reynolds was quoted as saying in the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Before she knew it a second flight attendant asked her for her passport and copied down her name.

Then, when the flight landed, three uniformed officers greeted her.

"They said, 'You swore at the hostess and there are federal rules against that,"' Reynolds said. "And I said, 'I did not swear at the hostess, I just said 'fair dinkum."'

A spokeswoman for the airline said it was not simply a matter of misunderstanding the language.

"We witnessed aggressive behaviour throughout the flight," she said.

Reynolds was not charged and allowed to go on her way, she said.

Fair dinkum = true.
When posed as a question 'fair dinkum?' = really?

What a week work has been. Thankfully the weekend is here, though I am travelling to Melbourne again tomorrow for another football game. Woohoo!


emily said...

You must have a lot of frequent flyer miles!

Daniel said...

Not enough. Only get 1,000 each way.