The words we use contain great power. In the right situation, a speaker with an acute awareness of how to appropriately implement his/her words in a structured format may deliberately use language to express his/her attitude towards others. This can occur in almost all realms of life. Politicians are evident uses of a stylistic variety of language that is structured to be politically correct; being in no way offensive to any population/group. This is essential to a politician's success in any developed, democratic society where popularity can make or break a politician's career. In recent history however, Australia's politicians from the opposing parties have been using insults and dysphemisms to defame or disparage each other. This is the extent politicians will go to for personal gain. The language used by politicians and people in general depends on who the speaker is engaging in discourse with and the purpose of the interaction. When a politician uses language in a disadvantageous manor such as using inaccurate syntax, non-fluent intonation patterns or even lexical choices that may be out of context, they put themselves at a much greater risk of 'de-popularising' themselves in the eyes of the public. This was evident when Julia Gillard assumed the role of Prime Minister in 2010. Her accent was far from being cultivated, putting her at an automatic disadvantage due to the fact that most Australians expect a Prime Minister to sound like a Prime Minister. Tony Abbot suffered a similar linguistic stigma during his time as Prime Minister which would have played a significant role in him being replaced for Malcolm Turnbull, a more cultivated speaker. Speaking with a cultivated accent plays the significant role of communicating to the listener that the speaker is educated and intelligent, and therefore quite capable of assuming a role such as Prime Minister.
The language used in the media speaks volumes about how it wishes the broader Australian population to perceive the situation of refugees and asylum seekers. Often the fact that these people have come to Australia, most often outside the realms of the law, the media's lexical choice when describing these people will consist of negatively connotated terms such as "illegal immigrants" and more informally (mainly on talk shows) "boat people". Practitioners of the religion of Islam are also the targets of this sort of linguistic prejudice. Often without knowing, many long term Australians may speak down (sounding overly polite) to Muslims as they are trying to outwardly appear friendly and polite despite, even though they may not think highly of them. Interestingly enough, Uptalk (rising of intonation) may be used to sound polite, but to the Muslim or Immigrant, it could just come across as patronising. This may reflect prejudice undertones Australia as a nation has had since federation.
Culturally, Australia's attitude towards it's indigenous population has changed greatly over the past two centuries. This of course, is illustrated in the lexical usage in formal modes of English including speeches, official documents and online registration forms. It is also very important to use current politically correct terminology in informal circumstances where the register is casual. For example, 'Australian Aborigines' are often referred to as 'Aboriginal Australians' or 'Indigenous Australians'. It has become taboo to even utter the now informally used shortened version 'Abbo'. This is evident in the censorship of Rolf Harris's famous song 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport', from 1963. This song has been shortened by approximately twenty seconds due to the removal of one of its original lines being: "Let me Abbo's go loose, Lou, let me Abbo's go loose. They're of no further use, Lou, so let me Abbo's go loose". Modern Australian society seems to prefer to keep this song as one of its definitive national classics, as long as the now taboo parts are erased to meet current expectations of political correctness.
Spoken language and the forms of written language are an integral part of how we communicate as human beings. Connotations change over time and so does political correctness which dictates the lexical choice of society members. The language we use in all modes of communication can be considered to be an illustration of our current attitudes towards humanities unique phenomenon; language.