Formie

UNDERSTANDING AUSTRALIAN ENGLISHauseng

McKenzie, Ian (lulu.com, July 2012, ISBN 9781105912054)

A few years ago, I bought a sheet of melamine at Bunnings Warehouse. I asked the lumber handyman if he could cut it into quarters for me.

“Sure,” he said.

We ambled outside to the power saw.

“You can count yourself lucky they had me on today, mate,” he said, as he strapped on the goggles. “The other tradies won’t cut melamine.”

“Oh!” I said, “Why not?”

“Because of the heat from the power saw,” he said, “when you cut melamine, it releases formaldehyde.”

“Christ!” I said, “Look, I can just cut it at home with a handsaw.”

“Nah, all good mate,” he said, punching on the power saw, “nothing to worry about, just a bit of formie.”

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