Sledging for your country

I think that most people world-wide have heard of the Australian penchant for sledging. Most people don’t understand that most sledging is witty banter between two opponents, and it’s not just a stream of expletives. The goal of sledging is to engage the opponent into conversation, unsettle them and put them off their game.
I don’t imagine it’s uniquely Australian, as you see many of the US basketball teams indulging in “trash talk”, so it’s clearly something that most (all) English speaking countries participate in.
I know many people don’t like sledging for whatever reason, and that is of course their position to take, but sledging in it’s true sense is an art-form requiring some degree of verbal dexterity, and not just a verbal barrage.
So, putting aside the various likes or dislikes of the practise, I was very amused to hear that in 2004 a group of Australians serving in the Persian Gulf were put in a precarious situation that according to the BBC .. that Iranian naval forces tried to capture the boarding team, but were repelled in the face of machine guns and “highly colourful language”.
I had to chuckle at that, thinking of otherwise hardy soldiers being turned back from a verbal onslaught. Maybe we should be getting Pidgeon and Warney to lead troops into the conflict areas with more sensitive opponents who can be dissuaded by a harsh word or two.
You can read the entire article.


2 thoughts on “Sledging for your country

  1. That is fantastic. I can imagine what they were saying, not that different to what I would be saying if I was behind automatic weapons.
    The difference may have been the Brits were regular navy folk, where as the aussies may have been special forces, who are generally grumpier and more suspicious.

  2. Also I think the RAN has done a lot of this sort of duty during the embargo on the Saddam regime over the last ten or more years.

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