To wonder why people put "r"s where they don't belong?

(266 Posts)
somebloke123 Tue 09-Oct-12 11:32:52

A trivial matter in the grand scheme of things of course but:

I first noticed this as a school boy "oop north" when a teacher from down south joined the staff and caused great hilarity by saying "drawrings" instead of "drawings".

It seems to be a southern phenomenon but not at all a type of chavspeak. Some of the worst offenders are media types who speak middle class "received" or "BBC" English.

It amounts to an inability to pronounce two successive vowel sounds without putting an "r" between.

A few examples I have heard in the radio, mainly over the past week or so:

West Brom managed a one-all drawragainst Aston Villa.

Planning the withdrawral from Afghanistan.

Chris Grayling is seeking a change in the lawron reasonable force against burglars.

The police are trying to restore Laura Norder.

And on Radio 4's "Poetry Please" in an otherwise moving reading of Oscar Wilde's "Ballad of Reading Jail":

"But I never sawraman who looked
So wistfully at the day.
I never sawraman who looked
With such a wistful eye."


MyLastDuchess Tue 09-Oct-12 11:35:08

It's called a 'bridging r'; it's not incorrect.

MaBaya Tue 09-Oct-12 11:37:18

Londoner and I do this. Its just a regional quirk. It could be worse. We could all be Brummies <runs from thread>

MIL keeps writing 'carnt' for 'can't' on FB.

Stupid sow.

grin at Laura Norder.

imnotmymum Tue 09-Oct-12 11:39:54

I say this. Am from the Midlands originally and it is much more comfortable to say than pausing draw-ing. That feels odd. Really have not noticed this though tbh

Lakota Tue 09-Oct-12 11:40:51

I have a feeling I do this. It's just how it comes out... I can pronounce the sounds separately if I try.

somebloke123 Tue 09-Oct-12 11:47:00

Of course one has to accept that there are such things as regional variations and it's not really a matter of correct or incorrect.

I guess since I never came across it until late childhood it has always struck me as a bit otiose.

imnotmymum Tue 09-Oct-12 11:52:11

But it is useful imo to make words flow when conversing

HyvaPaiva Tue 09-Oct-12 11:53:08

How about 'brought' when the speaker means 'bought'? Is it regional or a bridging 'r'? It drives me to distraction!

DeWe Tue 09-Oct-12 11:54:46

Hyva a mistake grin

imnotmymum Tue 09-Oct-12 11:56:12

Hyva that is just not speaking proper grin

AreAllMenTheSame2 Tue 09-Oct-12 12:03:22

I think i do the "sawrawoman" lol and my dp allways saying "drownding" or "drownded" drives me mad!!

People who pronounce Bath as Barth rather than BAth get my goat too.

AreAllMenTheSame2 Tue 09-Oct-12 12:06:01

Oops... My dp is always saying

Vagndidit Tue 09-Oct-12 12:06:19

Perrrr-zhoh Peugeot.

Euphemia Tue 09-Oct-12 12:08:37

It's just a way of avoiding two vowels running together, like the "t" in French in "Y a-t-il un chat?"

impty Tue 09-Oct-12 12:17:30

As a northerner married to a southerner I am constantly corrected by PIL and told to speak properly. It drives me insane. Especially as PIL have fairly strong accents which is a million miles from RP, and I have a fairly unregional accent having moved around a lot.

What's more I can spell and use grammar correctly (mostly) which is something they've yet to master.... Phew rant over!

<<goes to lie down>>

TooMuchRain Tue 09-Oct-12 12:17:47

There's a wikipedia article on it if you want to know more

Wetthemogwai Tue 09-Oct-12 12:23:48

In Liverpool they replace all the Rs with Ls but as midlander I too do the 'sawraman' and 'drawrings'. I sound very odd if I don't!

Psammead Tue 09-Oct-12 12:24:10

Drawrings and withdrawral are plain wrong, as it brought instead of bought. The rest is good old fashioned linking r, or intrusive r. It just makes things flow more reasily. grin

Wetthemogwai Tue 09-Oct-12 12:24:26

So yes, yabu and you talk strange :D

Psammead Tue 09-Oct-12 12:25:28

Sorry, I shouldn't have called them wrong - but they are not standard english.

SnowWide Tue 09-Oct-12 12:30:13

Oh yes, these superfluous 'r's set my teeth on edge every time. The first few tines I heard someone use it, I yelled at the TV. Hubby very confused, because those 'r's never registered in his hearing...thought I was making it up.

BreconBeBuggered Tue 09-Oct-12 12:30:45

My parents were exiled Scots and I wasn't allowed to adopt the local intrusive 'r', so it makes me wince a little bit, not when it sounds like a natural component of a regional accent, but when people are very well-spoken. Clear, authoratitive tones, undermined in seconds by a little drawring.

Wetthemogwai Tue 09-Oct-12 12:31:23

X posts psam sorry that wasn't aimed at you!

MaryZed Tue 09-Oct-12 12:31:54

I'm Irish, and I see it as a very English thing. I must say, my aunt considers herself to speak properly, but does it all the time. And it drives me mad that she will say ar instead of ah in words like pass (she says parse the parcel), but will criticise my kids for using the soft Irish t at the end of words.

I don't mind so much if it is connecting two vowels (though it's still wrong) in drawing, but it drives me mad in draw on its own - draur is a drawer, not the verb to draw [mutter]

Psammead Tue 09-Oct-12 12:34:07

No, no, Wett - I was just correctimg myself really. smile I don't like it when people say right and wrong when it comes to language, and then I did it myself!

aimingtobeaperfectionist Tue 09-Oct-12 12:34:32

I find a lot of people add 'h' where it's not meant to be and drop it where it is?
As in 'ouse' for house
And 'has' for as

MaryZed Tue 09-Oct-12 12:35:31

Yes, aiming. And troath for throat [baffled]

monkeysbignuts Tue 09-Oct-12 12:35:57

yep Carnt is one of my pet hates lol!!
& farther haha

monkeysbignuts Tue 09-Oct-12 12:37:52

I am from the north west and we seem to drop letters all the time here. My dh is always moaning at me for the way I speak (he wants the kids to speak nice rather than common like their mum haha)

Psammead Tue 09-Oct-12 12:40:05

Adding in an h is an example of hyper-correction. My grandfather who had a strong cockney accent used to do it of he was talking to someone he thought of as his 'better', when he remembered. "Would you like a bite to eat? I could do you some 'am n' heggs" for example.

Vagndidit my friend informed me her new car was a 'pur-gee-ot' shock grin

Going off on a tangent here but that just reminded me of the time my (mad as a box of frogs) cousin was trying to google pictures of a Ford Clio to show me which car she was getting! grin

WithoutCaution Tue 09-Oct-12 13:13:25

People who both say and write bought as brought drive me mad too. I may get a little stabby over it

So did you buy it or bring it? hmm

diddl Tue 09-Oct-12 14:12:07

Isn´t it "The Ballad of Reading Gaol"?

Woozley Tue 09-Oct-12 14:15:47

I have to say I have never, ever noticed a connective R as per the examples in the OP. I have noticed a lot of people saying barth instead of bath and warter instead of water though. The fools. wink

somebloke123 Tue 09-Oct-12 14:26:06

Yes probably should have used the British spelling.

tethersend Tue 09-Oct-12 14:34:41

Some people don't know their 'r's from their elbow.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 09-Oct-12 14:56:39

In Bristol they are called 'drawlings.'

WishICouldBeLikeDavidWicks Tue 09-Oct-12 15:42:11

It bugs me too, such a southern English thing. That and changing some words starting with S to Sh e.g shtudents, mmmmmnnnnaaaargh!

earthpixie Tue 09-Oct-12 15:51:20

I'm eastern English with a fairly MC speaking voice, I guess. If I say draw-ing without an r sound, I sound ludicrously posh.

MadBusLady Tue 09-Oct-12 15:55:11

Yy earthpixie I just tried it and so do I grin.

It's just an accent, it usually makes certain words easier to say if you have my kind of accent.

I wouldn't put an "r" in the middle of "withdrawal" though, that seems to make it harder to say rather than easier.

Arithmeticulous Tue 09-Oct-12 16:04:05

Rs I do.

Added Ss to shop names - like Tescos, Bootses, Lidls - I find annoying.

iklboo Tue 09-Oct-12 16:14:51

If FIL told me to 'speak properly' I'd be asking him if I was pronouncing 'Fuck Off' OK for him.

I hate extra syllables: ath-er-lete, Eng-er-land etc

I don't put extra r's in words. This is because I can't say r's properly. blush

somebloke123 Wed 10-Oct-12 09:42:40

I missed perhaps the most famous and immortal example from the Beatles' "Day in the Life":

"I sawra film today, Oh Boy!"

My MIL always says "You have a barth, you go to Bath" hmm pretty sure neither of them feature an R!!

Oh and for the record, not all brummies are poorly spoken.

Arithmeticulous Do people really do that with most shop names? amazing. Surely it justs sounds odd?

Deux Wed 10-Oct-12 10:08:58

The bought/brought misuse sets my teeth on edge.

But not as bad as people writing and saying draw when it's a drawer. I had the misfortune to check some online reviews of a chest of drawers from Argos and the reviews were littered with the likes of 'the draw was difficult to assemble'.

Our local antique shop had a label on an item of furniture that read 'Chester draws'. Seriously.

FairPhyllis Wed 10-Oct-12 10:20:38

It's a normal part of the phonology of many dialects of English. It's an epenthetic consonant that gets inserted between a low vowel-vowel sequence across a word boundary, by analogy with words that historically did have final /r/ and now have it sounded only when preceding a vowel in a following word. It now also appears within some words which contain a similar sound sequence, like 'drawing'.

Because the intrusive /r/ is sometimes stigmatised, some people overcorrect ("hypercorrect") the other way and leave out /r/ in sequences where it's not actually intrusive, like in 'more and more'.

somebloke123 Wed 10-Oct-12 10:29:27

"Epenthetic" Wow - I've learned a new word! Thanks for that.

FairPhyllis Wed 10-Oct-12 10:35:23

Oh someone posted a wiki page on it. Sorry.

'Epenthetic' in phonology just means that a sound has been added.

InSPsFanjoNoOneHearsYouScream Wed 10-Oct-12 10:37:28

I think I may add 'r' in places it shouldnt be!

I'm from Leeds. I tend to roll my r's too and yet no one else does.

InfestationofLannisters Wed 10-Oct-12 10:41:36

I put an erroneous r in drawing and h in student blush

It's much harder for children in the South East to learn to spell, I think. We're also fond of pronouncing, "hall" as "haww" and "pound" as "pand" for example.

Then you've got the grammar. DD has never heard, "we was" at home but she says it several times a day and at twelve, it is becoming an unbreakable habit.

I am strongly considering sending her to live with the in-laws in the midlands where she seems to gain a mild black country accent within days which sounds so much better.

MadBusLady Wed 10-Oct-12 10:57:28

Here's an odd one, can't be anything to do with accent: people saying "pacific" when they mean "specific". Why???

Euphemia Wed 10-Oct-12 10:59:43

They've misheard the word, and never seen it written down?

MadBusLady Wed 10-Oct-12 11:02:45

I'd think that if I'd only ever come across one person who did it. But it's lots! Using it quite confidently. Like it's some kind of malfunctioning neural connection relating only to that word.

SwedishKaz Wed 10-Oct-12 11:04:50

LOL @ Laura Norder

I could be on this subject for ever and ever, but something that annoys me more is when people write were, we're and where incorrectly, when ppl write bought when they mean brought and too instead of to.

Boomerwang Wed 10-Oct-12 11:19:29

I probably do it. Not sure.

I had a scottish teacher who said 'hhhwhere' and 'hhhwhat'.... is that typical scottish or just her? It was a bit startling at times.

Also had a teacher who couldn't say the word 'provider'. It came out 'prohoider'

My Irish ex-boss said 'safe etty' instead of 'safety'. Meh, it's all different innit.

I do it sometimes, have a much toned down cockney accent. If I try and do it with drawing it actually hurts!

But I think my speech is excellent considering my parents will say things along the lines of "Nah I went rand 'is 'aaaouse early doors yesterdee, and I was finking to meself and I 'membud fakin 'ell I left th'oven orn, an ya dad was nearly braan bread"

instead of "Now I went round his house early yesterday morning and all of a sudden I remembered that fucking hell I had left the oven on and nearly killed your father"

Its funny watching them talk to forrin people

Also not exactly the same but I spent the other day so confused by a conversation until I realised DD's friend (who is 18) meant alterations not altercations!

ShushBaby Wed 10-Oct-12 12:18:05

But how are you supposed to say for example 'I saw a film' if not 'I sawra film?'. 'I saw (pause) a film'?

It sounds weird!

Spatsky Wed 10-Oct-12 12:26:56

I do the r thing (southerner), never really thought about it to be honest and I just tried saying them without the r sound and I felt like I sounded like Jonathan ross.

ArthurShappey Wed 10-Oct-12 12:32:21

I didn't know I did this blush. I am actually struggling to say drawings without the r. How do you it? Seriously?

The only way I can stop the r being there is by pausing between draw and ings. Which is just daft.

I'm a relatively accent-less southerner.

jaggythistle Wed 10-Oct-12 12:49:02

it sounds really weird to me, as you don't get it at all with a Scottish accent.

i do see a lot of people adding the mystery Rs when writing on here, i guess they're spelling how it sounds when they say it.

the missing r at the end of words is also odd to my ears. like 'watah' or 'ordah' iyswim. I'm sure the proclaimers wrote a song about that one. can't link on phone, but feel free to Google 'Throw the R Away' grin

Woozley Wed 10-Oct-12 12:53:59

It is hard to say it without the r and sounds artificial. Like when you are talking about your stuff "I'll just pick up mi bag" most people say not "I'll just pick up MY bag". Just part of normal speech. Like in France people don't say JE NE SAIS PAS, it comes out more like je se pas.

Woozley Wed 10-Oct-12 12:54:48

I always say latte though. Not larrrte.

jaggythistle Wed 10-Oct-12 12:56:02

in fact, a word like border sounds like it has no r in some accents. I'm looking at you tv news presenters saying 'bawdah'...

whereas if Scottish people say murder or girder, it probably sounds like a million Rs. smile

Boomerwang Wed 10-Oct-12 19:56:06

I say lattay too.

I don't see why there's trouble omitting the 'r' sound? Drawing... easy just say dror wing rather than dror ring. No need for a pause.

'I saw a film' would sound like 'I sor wa film' rather than 'I sor ra film'

Obviously if you say it slowly you're going to elaborate on the 'r' in 'sor' but ifyou say it normally it comes out right.

Euphemia Wed 10-Oct-12 20:14:58

You English are weird, showing the pronunciation of saw as "sor". smile

Next you'll be telling me that "saw" and "sore" are homophones. And that "pull" and "pool" aren't. Weirdos!

messybedhead Wed 10-Oct-12 20:27:19

When teaching phonics at Phase 5, aw is taught as an alternative grapheme for the /or/ sound. So it is taught that saw and sor would sound the same.

I think! blush

freddiefrog Wed 10-Oct-12 20:31:52

I do the r thing (southerner), never really thought about it to be honest and I just tried saying them without the r sound and I felt like I sounded like Jonathan ross.

LOL, me too!

On similar note, I was watching Andrew Marr's Sunday night history programme a couple of weeks ago and he pronounced iron as eye-ron. I'd say it eye-on confused

AllPastYears Wed 10-Oct-12 20:33:07

"It's an epenthetic consonant that gets inserted between a low vowel-vowel sequence across a word boundary, by analogy with words that historically did have final /r/ and now have it sounded only when preceding a vowel in a following word."

Thank you FairPhyllis, finally someone's talking sense! grin

Boomerwang Wed 10-Oct-12 20:34:39


NathanDetroit Wed 10-Oct-12 20:41:31

I'm not sure if I do this, I'm from Bristol with a very slight accent.

Had to laugh about "Barth" though. Most people down here would call it "Baaath". Lovely Bristol vowels!

Euphemia Wed 10-Oct-12 21:58:33

Messy We skip that page in Scotland. smile

DreadingWhatComesNext Wed 10-Oct-12 22:00:41

yeah, english people seem to put in rs where there are none (like, lore and awdah! ) makes me laugh that one. leave out the Rs that are there and put in one that isn't there!

FairPhyllis Wed 10-Oct-12 22:03:38

It happens in dialects which are called 'non-rhotic dialects', i.e. ones where people don't sound /r/ after a vowel - they say 'car' as 'kaa'. This is most of the dialects in England and Wales (but most famously not those in the south-west of England). Scottish English, most Irish dialects and most American dialects still have /r/.

If you don't do intrusive r, then what you are actually doing phonetically in a phrase like 'law and order' is putting a slight glottal stop in before the vowel of 'and'.

It would be interesting to know whether the ascendancy of phonics teaching ends up contributing to some sound mergers. I hadn't thought about that. I wonder what you do if you have a class where some kids have a sound merger and others don't.

womma Wed 10-Oct-12 23:17:13

This was my dear mum's pet hate! She used to go mad if I said 'drawring' so I've unlearned it and can say it with only one R and no pause - get me!

Has anyone noticed how Londoners and people from the south east say 'Har-old are you?' Oh and 'salid' and 'chocklit'.

I technically lost an argument with my English husband that "sauce" and "source" have different pronunciations - according to the dictionary they are the same which is mad (to a Scot anyway).
My step mum used to drill into me that you pronounced the "wh" in words and that Wales and whales do not sound the same but never a h before it.
Really interesting reading the comments that words don't flow without the extra r's. Another world!

BertieBotts Wed 10-Oct-12 23:39:02

Huh? Of course you say drawring. If you don't add the R sound then you just say droing, which is even worse!

I'm from the midlands though and I hate how people don't pronounce L but substitute a R or W sound instead angry

BertieBotts Wed 10-Oct-12 23:43:29

I like the Scottish pronunciation of wh, though.

I got really confused when my Scottish cousin and aunt were trying to tell me about the HWIGIG stand at the supermarket! (Hurry, When It's Gone It's Gone)

It sounds more like a Fwhere or a fwhat to me than a h, though.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 10-Oct-12 23:59:57

I do this when talking in my normal voice. I was born in London, and have lived mostly in South Essex.

When I talk 'properly', as in the way I was taught in elocution lessons, I drop the 'bridging r', but in general conversation, I DO say sawrer instead of saw a, lawrenorder instead of Law and order etc.

It's just an Estuary accent, I'm afraid. No different to 'cahsle' / 'cassle' for south and north accents.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 00:12:21

I naturally pronounce drawing even worse than you think. It comes out as 'drorin'.


I can say it properly, thanks to bloody elocution lessons, but it feels 'wrong' in my mouth when I do!

GhostofMammaTJ Thu 11-Oct-12 00:15:16

Why oh why did I name my DDs, both of them, names eneding in A in Somerset?? Both get the added ARRR at the end!!

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 00:15:37

And I say wa'er for water, aw'er for ought to, and Chester draws for chest of drawers.

The difference is, I CAN spell correctly even if my pronunciation is shot to bits. And use grammar correctly. Mostly.

GhostofMammaTJ Thu 11-Oct-12 00:15:49

Oooops, added E there, eneding ending.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 00:16:42

Though people saying 'pacific' for specific, and brought instead of bought does make me irrationally ragey!

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 00:19:20

Judy - I do pronounce sauce and source exactly the same. If I was to say "where did you source that sauce?", it would come out as "where did ya sawce tha' sawce?"

(Tha' isn't pronounced thaaaa, it is pronounced tha with a glottal stop.)

InSPsFanjoNoOneHearsYouScream Thu 11-Oct-12 00:22:47

couthy I pronounce things the same way as you! I'm from Leeds.

I drop 'the' from sentences too and even when I type I drop words as I type the way I speak.

I sound pretty common in RL and on 'ere grin

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 00:58:57

I thought of another common one in my house "wassama'a" for "What's the matter", and 20mo DS3's current favourite, "wassat" but with a glottal stop where the 't' is, for "What's that?"

ThisIsANickname Thu 11-Oct-12 01:01:06

OP, it's called an "intrusive R" and it's a standard part of most English and Welsh dialects, actually.

More information

I do this, can't help it it's just how it comes out!

AmIthatbad Thu 11-Oct-12 06:10:31

Totally bemused by this

Can quite happily speak without inserting random "rs"

Why would this be an issues

............and anyone inserting Rs in their sentences - judgey pants well up the crack

OH, and sauce and source - FFS on which planet would these rhyme, <<fuckin weird>>

ripsishere Thu 11-Oct-12 06:12:02

Me too. It's just accents IMO. Me and DH have totally different ways of speaking. He says cassle, bath and grass, I say car-sel, barth and grarss.
I loathe seck-er-tree. My friend is a secretary for a medical organization. In her world she's a deck-er-tree for some doctors firm grin
Currently what is getting my goat is the Malay for yes or no. Can or cannot.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 07:21:24

AmIthatBad. On which planet? Most of the South East of England.

I can talk properly, but it doesn't 'feel' right, because I grew up in Essex, where the glottal stop and a bridging 'r' are part of the accent. It'd be like telling someone from Newcastle to say 'Barth' instead of bath, or 'cahsle' instead of 'cassle' for castle.

The UK has a wealth of different dialects and accents in such a small land area. I find it hugely interesting, and a lot of the difference in accents is to do with which areas were invaded by which people, historically.

How is it a bad thing to have such diversity within the same spoken language?

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 07:22:58

grin I pronounce secretary as "sec-ruh-tree"

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Thu 11-Oct-12 07:47:26

I do the bridging r thing - I had never even noticed!

I just said drawing etc to myself without the r and sounded like I was trying to speak like Nigella Lawson.

Bath is pronounced Baaaaaaath by local westcountry types who come from round these 'ere parts, Barth by most. I don't see that as adding an r though - just a long a instead of the short northern a.

I like accents, I love how they are so varied. I don't think there is any wrong or right way to speak, just regional differences which should be cherished really.

Pacific instead of specific is just a mistake made by thickos, though.

I'm reading this and now can't remember how I say things hmm

If source and sauce aren't the same how do you pronounce them?

My DGM says Onvelope, which is strange

LST Thu 11-Oct-12 08:25:59

I do it and I'm from up north.

FannyFifer Thu 11-Oct-12 08:30:16

How on earth can sauce and source be said the same? They don't sound anything like each other.

The one that annoys me is people not pronouncing Loch correctly, it's not lock.

I live in Nuneaton and have Geordie parents.

Need I say more?


GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Thu 11-Oct-12 10:03:32

I say loch like I would imagine a scouser saying lock.

Mind you it is a word I used infrequently!

Apple sauce
Source of the nile.

No, I pronounce them the same.

It's not wrong though, just as scots pronouncing r's very strongly is not wrong. Just diversity isn't it.

It would be bollocks if we all walked around speaking like the queen.

socharlotte Thu 11-Oct-12 10:17:13

In North Yorkshire , where I hail from we 'talk proper'. None of your barths and parths and grarss!

socharlotte Thu 11-Oct-12 10:17:36

How do you pronounce source and sauce differently?

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 10:25:57

There is no r is sauce confused.

Sourced is s-or-ssd

Sauce is S-awe-s, but without the w properly, so maybe more S-au-ss

Completely different words.

OwedToAutumn Thu 11-Oct-12 10:26:06

Oooh, oooh, oooh, I've got one.

I hate the way some people say sick-th, instead of sixth.

The head of DD2's school used to say it all the time re: the sick-th form.

Uggh! Itchy teeth!

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 10:27:18

I'm from Dublin, by the way. Apparently educated Dubliners speak English properly, and much better than most English people.

We have hoards of Spanish and other European students in Dublin every year who are here to learn to speak English correctly [baffled].

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 10:27:45

They do that on the BBC a lot Owed. Makes me feel stabby.

OwedToAutumn Thu 11-Oct-12 10:43:54

Yes, gharstly. or ghahstly. Whichever. Just don't say sick-th!

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 10:45:12

garsetly shock That's just wrong too.

choccyp1g Thu 11-Oct-12 11:01:11

I hate the way newsreaders say "Seck-su-all" instead of "sex-ual"

Always feels as though they are trying to avoid the word "sex"

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 11:17:24

I too have now forgotten how I speak!

i think MaryZed that in Ireland, RTE will only employ people who use more Rs than are needed. "looorst" make me wince

OwedToAutumn Thu 11-Oct-12 11:32:45

No. Seck-su-al it right!

Seck-shoe-al - that's wrong!

lotsofcheese Thu 11-Oct-12 11:41:19

Yes, have you heard of VictoriaR Pendleton? And JessicaR Ennis?! Drives me potty!

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 11:44:25

But it's sex-you-uhl - no hard k sound at all.

Moln, in order to work for RTE you have to call it OR-Tee-Ee, it's compulsory grin

socharlotte Thu 11-Oct-12 11:46:17

is envelope French I wonder hence the 'on' beginning by some folk?

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 11:47:55

I think it was originally from French.

But imo on-volope is pretentious and makes me think of Del-Boy grin.

AllPastYears Thu 11-Oct-12 12:37:52

MaryZed, whether you say sex-you-al or sek-shoe-al there is a "hard k sound"! 'Sex' is pronounced 'seks', right?

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Thu 11-Oct-12 12:48:32

I am sitting here mouthing the word SEX-U-AL silently to myself. I am in abusy canteen and must look like someone who needs to be taken away.

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Thu 11-Oct-12 12:49:17

Oh ghaaaaaaaastly - that word has to be said like Penelope Keith.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 13:29:07

No, it's an x - much softer than a ks [confuses self]

AllPastYears Thu 11-Oct-12 14:05:51

But an "x" is a "ks"!

AllPastYears Thu 11-Oct-12 14:06:46

In 'sex', anyway grin.

AllPastYears Thu 11-Oct-12 14:35:48

PS wrecks/rex, flex/flecks. Same or different? smile

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 15:29:48

When I say it, for some reason it's softer in sexual than in wrecks.

I dunno.

Try saying sex-youal

Then say seck-sueal

Maybe it's because my second s is more of an "sh", so sex-shoeal, which softens the x.

dh is looking at me like hmm as I mouth words at my laptop.

JessieMcJessie Thu 11-Oct-12 15:50:10

I am Scottish so yes yes to Wales and whales sounding completely different. Not to mention where and wear. And of COURSE source and sauce sound completely different - not just because one has an "r" in it and the other doesn't, but also because they are completely different vowel sounds.

I recall being utterly bemused by the presenters on Blue Peter asking us to send in out "drawrings". On a slightly separate note, my Granny always used to say "ear-rings", with the "r" pronounced at the end of "ear" and again, separately at the start of "rings", whereas my instinct is of course to say only one "r" which is I suppose adopting the English pronunciation of "ear". I have inherited a lot of her earrings and I always say her double R where myself when I am picking out a pair to wear.

I work with a Chinese girl, she is fluent in English but I am the only Scot she has ever met. The other day I asked her if the cleaners had been in to hoover yet. She looked at me as if I was speaking in tongues. I has to mime in the end.

Euphemia Thu 11-Oct-12 16:41:47

I love to blow DH's mind with pairs of words that sound the same in some accents but not others:



MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 16:51:57

dh drives me nuts by pronouncing huge as youj and Hugh and youj

From your list Euphemia, I think I would pronounce Pore and poor the same, more or less. The ones with/without r's though are very different (saw, sauce, Paw do NOT have r's in them [mutter]).

As for look, cook, book, I can't cope if the oo are pronounced like pool or cool.

This thread has made me realise how intolerant I am blush, which since I have one teenager with a very strong Dublin skanger accent, one who sounds rather posh and one who sounds American is very strange. I manage to ignore most of what they say grin.

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 16:58:03

Euphima of your pairs I say the following the same

Pour/poor (slight difference)

* I have to admit to having NO idea how these could be said fifferently! Please enlighten me!

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 17:21:00

There is no r in paw.

So poor is p-oar (as in rowing boat).

Paw is p-awe (as in I am in awe of you). Though you probably pronounce oar and awe the same <cries a bit>

Just leave out the r. Stop after the awwwwwwww sound. Using a round mouth and your lips, without letting your top teeth get involved.

Same for sawwwwwwww and sauuuuuuuuus (no r).

AmIthatbad Thu 11-Oct-12 17:42:39


How can pour and paw be the same? As MaryZed said

pour (which I would pronounce the same as pore) would rhyme with roar

paw - completely different vowel sound, plus no r

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 18:24:13

I think I'm in a different planet! I can't work out how they are different and you can't work out how they are the same!

ii'm not say an r in paw! Least I don't think so! Doubts self

I'm off to listen to the dictionary!

AmIthatbad Thu 11-Oct-12 18:26:10

grin These threads always have me sitting speaking to myself, trying to work out what I actually say

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 18:27:32

Right to make it even odder, I've just called DH and asked him. He told me I say them differently!

very very confused!

Euphemia Thu 11-Oct-12 18:33:25

You're all getting just a tiny glimpse of the fun evenings we have chez Euphemia! grin

jaggythistle Thu 11-Oct-12 18:56:29

poor and p-oar? nooo!

poor has oo in it = as in moo like a cow surely? grin

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 19:16:00

No, no, Poor doesn't have an oo as in moon. Nooooooo.

It sounds with oar, as in a rowing boat. Or pore, bore, sore, door, whore grin.

I think I might fit nicely into your arguments Euphemia.

The arguments in this house stem from the fact that we are in Ireland and my mum was Church of Ireland, my dad was Catholic. We were brought up with Protestant pronunciation of words like scone (gone, not cone) and yoghurt (again o as in on, not o as in oh) and worst of all I say aitch not haitch.

People can tell my religion from my accent shock

AmIthatbad Thu 11-Oct-12 19:19:25


Yes it does

poor and pour don't sound the same

poor is p-oo-r, as in m-oo

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 19:28:20

You probably say coooooook and boooooook and looooooook, don't you you wierdo ?

What do you do with poor paw? Do you really say pooooer pore?


Euphemia Thu 11-Oct-12 19:34:10

Yes, Mary, except there's no "r" in paw, obv. It's p-aw.

Honestly, if you English would just articulate a bloody "r" when it's written ...! wink

jaggythistle Thu 11-Oct-12 19:34:29

no p-oo-r p-aw

no r in paw!

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 19:37:53

Well if you put an (incorrect) oooooooo in poor, who knows what you will shove in a paw.

It constantly amazes me how bad the English are at speaking English.

Having said that I was watching some American programme the other day and they had subtitles for some Scottish bloke. It was hysterical, because the subtitles Americanised the words as well, so it was a total mish-mash and made very little sense.

sm would have had apoplexy.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 19:38:33

Oops, there should have been a wink after my second sentence, before all "you English" get all cross with me smile.

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 19:52:09

OK you lot have brought me to recording myself! I do indeed say the words paw and poor differently.

My brain hurts after reading this and I haven't a clue how I speak any more, though I do know that scone rhyming with gone is wrong....

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 19:53:23

It's OK MaryZed you Irish can't help it wink

AmIthatbad Thu 11-Oct-12 19:58:16

grin, but Moln, it does rhyme with gone

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 19:58:57

Here protestant scones rhyme with gone, catholic ones rhyme with cone [baffled]

Pascha Thu 11-Oct-12 20:00:48

OK then:


All sound the same as each other to me. I use the same vowel sound for each pair and the r is pretty silent in my accent.

I am right. You can all go home now.

AmIthatbad Thu 11-Oct-12 20:01:31

I eat scone (gone) but I live very near the village of Scone (S-coon) smile

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 20:03:00

Pascha how do you say scone?

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 20:05:33

Probably wrongly, Moln wink

Judging by her list of errors shock. She must talk about paw saw paws.

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 20:12:26

I am very tempted to phone up my friends who I know are CofI MaryZed, and ask them 'what is the baked good that is often served with jam and cream?'

this tread is driving me into (odd) actions

Oh and how is water said if it's not 'war-ter' is it 'wat er' or 'wah-ter.'

Am I going to have to record myself again. I think I have bad ears...

Pascha Thu 11-Oct-12 20:20:30

I do, Maryeeeeeeezzzzzzzze smile

Scone rhymes with own and zone and moan.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 20:22:21

It rhymes with awe, as in shock and awe, but you probably pronounce awe as oar, so that's no use grin.

It's sort of W-au-ter

Imagine Evelyn Waugh (or would you call him Evelyn War confused)

It definitely isn't War-ter.

And of course, the Irish have the soft t, which is half-way between your sharp t and a d sound as in thud. Just to add to the confusion.

My kids would say w-au-der.

FairPhyllis Thu 11-Oct-12 20:22:41

The poor/pour/paw differences are down to whether your dialect kept the historic /r/ or not. If it didn't (i.e. most of southern England), the vowel quality in words that historically had an /r/ after the vowel is very susceptible to change. Knock yourselves out. I have a total merger between poor/pour/paw.

Southern British English started losing the /r/ in the mid 1400s, so I'm afraid it is a lost cause for those of you telling us to "speak proper". grin

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 20:26:19

And, she can't even pronounce my name properly [huffs]

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 20:28:34

But Phyllis, they seemed to lose it from poor, but gain it in words like pass

So they say paw and pars

I need a life grin

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 20:29:11

OK so Pascha say scone correctly. She is indeed right.

Argument over.

ShellyBoobs Thu 11-Oct-12 20:32:05

MyLastDuchessTue 09-Oct-12 11:35:08

It's called a 'bridging r'; it's not incorrect.

It's not a bridging R in the context being discussed.

A 'bridging r' is an 'r' on the end of one word which is follwoed by another word starting with a vowel.

So, you whereas you might pronounce winter as 'winta', when you say 'winter apple' you would pronounce the 'r' to kink the words together. So you'd say 'winta rapple'.

That's not incorrect, but adding an extra 'r' to 'drawing' is DEFINTELY wrong.

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 20:41:21

Poor/pour/paw all sound the same in my accent (Sussex). No 'r' at the end and they have the same vowel sound (could do with phonetic symbols on the iPad! It's the one that looks like a back-to-front c. Front of the mouth with rounded lips)

And pass is pars in my accent.

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 20:42:06

Yes, it's an intrusive rather than bridging r, I think.

Pascha Thu 11-Oct-12 20:44:32

grin We wish you a merry christmas...

FairPhyllis Thu 11-Oct-12 20:47:44

Mary No, there's no gain of /r/ in 'pass'. It's just a long /a/ vowel. If you did an acoustic analysis of someone with a southern British English accent saying 'pass' you'd be able to see that there's only a vowel there - any kind of /r/ sound would show up on the graph.

People interpret it as an /r/ being present because they know that in that accent words like 'car' are pronounced with the same long /a/ vowel.

Don't say you need a life! This is what I do for a living!

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 20:48:58

<ignores Pascha>

Though she would probably say Chistmars [mutter].

See, see, see <splutters> ^^ up there; see waterlego.

That's it, see - she takes the r out of poor and puts it into pass.

Why? Why?

<head melts>

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 20:49:59

Oooh, what exactly do you do Fairphyllis?

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 20:51:39

But Phyllis, there is an r in car, added on to the end of the long a sound. Pass should have the long a sound with an ss on the end, no r.

And my aunt (thinks she speaks very correctly) say parss the parcel and grarss and drauring (r, not w as I would say it).

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 20:51:53

No, Fair is right. It's a long 'a', (and the mouth is more closed than with a short 'a' like you'd get in 'cat') there's no actual r sound in it.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 20:52:03

I want your job. I would love it, especially if I could tell everyone else they are WRONG.

FairPhyllis Thu 11-Oct-12 20:54:39

I teach linguistics in a university. And do linguistics research.

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 20:54:43

I don't think anyone's accent is wrong, Mary grin

FairPhyllis Thu 11-Oct-12 20:56:14

'Car' in southern British English is pronounced 'kaa'. No /r/ sound. Unless it's followed by a word beginning with a vowel and then you get the linking /r/.

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 20:57:57

Oh Fair. I am envy. Half my degree was Eng Lang and linguistics and I loved it. I wish I'd done that for the whole thing rather than teaming it with another subject. I particularly loved Phonetics and Phonology. We had a fantastic lecturer and I loved spending lessons listening to her nonsense words with clicks and implosives in them and transcribing them. Hours of fun!

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 21:02:58

Fair, Can you clear something up for me?

Tem pin bowling
Tem books

I thought I was taught (in a Psycholinguistics module) that these were speech 'errors', specifically, errors of anticipation, IIRC. However, I've just read something on Wikipedia(!) that describes them as external 'sandhi' (which I'd never heard of). Which is correct? Or are they both?

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 21:30:43

But, but, but, someone has to be wrong waterlego. Just so I can be right wink

Phillis, the Ford Ka was met here with general hilarity for that reason.

I love all of this <goes to investigate how one would study linguistics in Ireland, where it probably doesn't exist>

waterlego, add Irish sangwidges to that list. Especially hang sangwidges grin

FairPhyllis Thu 11-Oct-12 21:52:57

Disclaimer: I'm not a phonologist or phonetician. But sandhi is the term used to describe phonological processes that happen at word or morpheme boundaries (the word 'sandhi' is borrowed from Sanskrit grammarians who talked about this phenomenon). So, yes, 'tem pin bowling' and the bridging /r/ and intrusive /r/ are all cases of sandhi. I'd be uncomfortable calling these 'speech errors' because they are part of the grammar of particular languages or dialects: I think of speech errors as being things like sound metathesis or selecting the wrong word.

I would call them 'anticipatory assimilation' - it's really the 'anticipatory' bit that is most important because it provides evidence that we 'plan ahead' by altering sound segments on the basis of what's going to come after them.

Mary Ah, yes, the dialectal imperialism of the Ford Ka. They need to employ some linguists - actually, they might do - companies that do branding and product naming for clients often employ linguists to check that product names work in different languages and so on. There was a great article in The Times, I think (the British one), about a company that does this - they named the Blackberry and Febreze.

TCD has a good linguistics department and up north, so does the University of Ulster.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 21:57:10

That planning ahead would explain the hang sangwidges pronunciation of people who can say ham perfectly well on its own.

This is a great thread, thanks everyone, I'm really enjoying it.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 22:02:55

But in my accent, oar doesn't have a spoken 'r'?!

It sounds like awww. Same as the end of paw. So how can you make paw and oar sound different when you don't say the 'r' at the end of oar?!

Euphemia Thu 11-Oct-12 22:06:41

Do some accents have two syllables in oar? So "oh-uh"?

FairPhyllis Thu 11-Oct-12 22:07:59

Waterlego, a friend of mine works on a language which has 20 different clicks! She can do most of them as well. I can't tell the difference between half of them.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 22:08:15


Scone absolutely positively MUST rhyme with cone, not bloody gone. Has the world gorn mad?!

NapaCab Thu 11-Oct-12 22:17:01

This used to confuse me as a child in Ireland when we would get joke books that were from England and there would be puns that involved a bridging 'r' e.g. the 'Laura Norder / law and order' in the OP's post. I never got these jokes because they don't make sense unless you speak with that accent.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 22:17:36

Well [helpful], you could try pronouncing oar like, erm oar <ducks>

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 22:18:35

Like Pascha, poor/paw/pour/pore all sound like pawwwww.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 22:21:22

But oar to me doesn't have an 'r' when you speak it. Neither does car, bar, far, planter, or just about anything else that ends in 'r'.

Car = caaaa
Bar = baaaa
Far = faaaaa
Planter = plantaaaaa

It's just how it is here!

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 22:24:34

Well, that explains it [sympathetic], you obviously can't talk properly.

<ducks, runs and hides>

<sniggers slightly>

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 22:26:38

Fair Thank you, you are creaking my rusty linguistics brain into gear for me smile

I was mistaken about speech errors. An example of an anticipation error would be 'leading list' for 'reading list', so they are genuine errors, albeit inevitable in spontaneous speech.

The 'hambag' example was, as you say, explained to me as assimilation, which makes more sense (and that would have been in a phonology lecture rather than psycholinguistics, I guess) In all of those examples above, there are alveolars followed by bilabials so the nasal alveolar assimilates to the bilabial nasal.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 22:28:13

<brain explodes>


waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 22:29:17

Fair I think I can do 4 or 5 clicks at most. I would struggle to identify the differences between 20! It was the implosives that alarmed me the most. They're so...^visceral^, for want of a better description.

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 22:29:35

Oh here, there's no r in car. You trying to send me over the edge.

here's another that divides - Shrewsbury.

also Australia

I say both those places correctly btw

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 22:29:57

Italics fail.

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 22:31:19

I have noticed an increase in pronunciation of Europe as 'Yorop', which I'm not keen on the sound of.

cardibach Thu 11-Oct-12 22:31:19

I hate added rs - and I ahve to put up with using my middle name as mum didn;t want one to appear - the name she wanted to call me ends with a vowel sound and the spare starts with one. SHe was so scared of a stray r creeping in that she put them the other way round (not my names, but imagine Joanna Eleanor - she thought people would say JoannaREleanor so called me Eleanor Joanna to avoid it, but still kept Joanna as my given name, IYSWIM). EVen so, they are worse in singing than in speech, and I absolutely hate IYam instead of I am in songs.
Not sure any of that makes any sense.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 22:33:07

Isn't Shrewsbury one of those ridiculous English pronunciations?

Sh-rows-bu-ry, perhaps.

Australia is Australia

Au-strale-ee-uh, surely?

Do they have translators at mumnset meetups?

I love you MaryZed. Most of Your pronunciation is Correct.

I have been whispering 'sexshooal' to my laptop grin and my DD is looking at me like this hmm

What I'd like to know is how on earth do English children learn to spell correctly if they don't pronounce half the letters and add extra ones all over the place?

And how on earth can pull and pool not sound exactly the same?

Ooh cardibach I worked beside someone I thought for ages was called Eleanor.

Turns out her name was Helena. It was in the east midlands.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 22:36:00

It does actually, cardi.

My brother has a name ending in the same letter as our surname. And if you took that letter of the surname it was another surname, and every time he gave his name as a child they would get his surname wrong.

Is Europe your-up, with a short uh and a little more stress on the first syllable?

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 22:37:43

Shrewsbury is Shrews (like the animal) though people (who are wrong) say Shrows bury

I've heard Australia Ors-tralia. True story.

Ooo ooo MaryZed how do you say Audi? Most Irish people say it wrong, I've told DH we'll never get one (as if we could anyway!) until he learns to say it right

FairPhyllis Thu 11-Oct-12 22:40:09

Euphemia - yes there are dialects which distinguish between 'oar' and 'or'. It's a difference in the vowel - 'oar' is pronounced with the tongue higher in the mouth than for 'or', or as a diphthong, which is a gliding sort of sound. It's quite hard to do if you have the merger. But again it's partly to do with whether your dialect retains historic /r/ or not.

A lot of English accents have this merger - it's called the horse-hoarse merger. Conservative RP has the distinction though - if you were to listen to an old recording of the Queen, you'd probably be able to hear it.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 22:41:54

Shrewsbury I would say as Shro-z-bree.

Australia I would say as oss-tray-lee-uh.

Is it any wonder lots of people not me though from Essex frequently have problems with learning to spell correctly? grin

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 22:42:47

Actually, on reflection, Australia is slightly more like oss-dray-lee-uh.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 22:42:56

I might be wrong (unlikely of course [arf]) but I would say ow-dee, more or less. Maybe a tad extra w sound.

My aunt (the "proper" one who say parss the parcel) of course is the one who insists on Shrowsbury grin. I will take great pleasure in correct ing her.

Thank you Minnie smile. I hate to correct you after your lovely complement, but pool has an oooooooo sound in the middle, pull has an uh sound. So p-oooo-l and p-uh-l, very different. Do you say c-ooooo-k and b-ooooo-k as well?

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 22:44:02

Minnie All English-speaking children have to learn incongruous spellings. Rough etc. smile

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 22:44:29

Pull sounds like, well, pull. Pool on the other hand sounds like poow.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 22:45:19

I have discovered that I have a slight little lift in the middle of oar blush, to make it different from or.

ds2 now thinks I have gone completely bonkers.

I spend a lot of time on the Irish baby names threads, discussing the "little lift" we have in so many Irish words. I expect I carry that across a bit when I'm speaking English.

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 22:46:51

I used to work with some Irish people (in a pub) and their pronunciation of 'bar' was similar to the way I would say 'bear'. That threw me a bit at first. 'Get behoind the bear' etc.

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 22:47:15

I can hear the difference in pull and pool.

Horrah my ears aren't that stupid then!

FairPhyllis Thu 11-Oct-12 22:47:56

waterlego, yes clicks terrify me. My friend's language has nasal clicks - WTF.

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 22:48:34

Couthy I suspect my accent is very similar to yours. Do you say dowphin and miwk?

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 22:49:48

Dear Lord Fair, they must surely sound like someone clearing their nose?

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 22:50:13

What are these clicks of which you speak?

(MaryZed, I'm thinking you say Audi correctly then and not the odd "or-dee' way

DrCoconut Thu 11-Oct-12 22:50:36

My grandmother spent her whole life in Lincolnshire. A relative married someone from Kent and grandma was just fascinated by his speech. Apparently he used to drink "caps of tea"! DH is a southerner and DS2 has stared saying "mammy" (mummy with a posh accent as opposed to actual mammy).

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 22:51:23

I am desperately trying to work out wtf miwk is?

water, some Irish accents are incomprehensible, even to Irish people. Especially if they have been behind a bar for a while!

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 22:53:01

Oh, yes, Awe-dee, that would be the way they say it here.

I told you, I had a Protestant mother, she taught me to speak proper-like grin

dh used to teach the kids to call me mammy [shudder] until I put my Foot Down Very Hard.

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 22:54:45

Moln Lots of African languages have click sounds in them! Some of which are easy enough for English speakers to do, others not so much. Xhosa is one example. Have a listen...

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 22:55:15

Dowfin, and miwk. So near enough.

I think there are slight nuances between a South Essex accent (Estuary accent) and a North Essex accent though.

There are quite a few words that my DC's pronounce differently to me, some that make me scratch my head. Millak for miwk? Murra for mirra. Pahth instead of pahff.

See, in South Essex, 'th' at the end of a word becomes 'ff', but in North Essex it stays as 'th'. Quite perplexing!

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 22:56:22
CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 22:56:40

Miwk = milk.

HTH MaryZed which I spent years mispronouncing before you changed it.


Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 22:56:52

My kids call me Mammy (i like it) though the eldest is getting to the stage were it'll be to babyish and I am detecting that Ma, in a lovely Dublin (non RTE) creeping in.

Will send him to boarding school first thing - it's the only way

ivykaty44 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:57:07

where I am we have unsilent K


no idea why?

FairPhyllis Thu 11-Oct-12 22:57:45

A click is a consonant sound that sounds like, well, a click. Think of the clop sound you can make with your tongue to imitate the sound of a horse. That's a click. Or the tut sound you can make by inhaling and pulling your tongue away from the roof of your mouth. There are many more, but they can be hard to do or distinguish between if you don't speak a language with them.

In some languages, almost all of which are in southern Africa, clicks are just a normal part of the inventory of consonants.

There are lots of recordings here.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 22:58:13

Um Couthy, what language do you speak?


Isn't it weird how we can all understand all these when we hear them, but write them down phonetically and they make no sense at all.

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 22:59:45

Miwk = milk

My FIL, who is from East London, says 'miw' for meal.

Pascha Thu 11-Oct-12 23:00:57

MIL used to call our car (aah caah) ordee. Now she just says ford.

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 23:02:15

ivy are you in (near) Birmingham?

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 23:02:34

I think there is a bilabial click too, which is a sort of 'pop' sound with your lips- starting closed and then opening them while inhaling a bit. I don't imagine that makes sense but it's hard to describe these things.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 23:02:35

I say miw for meal too. I was born in East London, to a mother born and bred in E. London, and a Scottish father that mostly spoke with a South Essex accent. grin

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 23:02:48

ivy, I remember a mahoosive row between my brother and my (English and rather posh, with very correct aunt as a mother) cousin.

The conversation went like this:

Brother: why do you say somefink?

Cousin: what do you mean I say somefink?

Brother: you should say something.

Cousin: I don't say somefink, I say somefink.

Cue hysterical laughter from me and my three brothers, meltdown from cousin, and aunt (whose house we were in) sending us to our room, where we continued to snigger for a while until our mum came and told us that although we were right we were to shut up.

I tried to remind him of the conversation at his wedding 20 years later, and he still insisted that his way of pronouncing somefink was correct grin. He never saw the funny side in all those years.

Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 23:05:06

Oh and thanks for the info on clicks!

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 23:05:57

Apparently, Ningdu Chinese, has 'flapped nasal clicks', according to Wiki. Urrrggghh. That just sounds....rank.

ivykaty44 Thu 11-Oct-12 23:07:19

Moln about 25 miles

CouthyMowWearingOrange Thu 11-Oct-12 23:08:01

Thing is, I can understand most UK accents, even written phonetically, and even when written phonetically, could probably take a good guess at what geographical area of the UK that person comes from.

I wonder how it works with phonics in schools, with such different pronunciations up and down the country?

In Southern England, there just aren't any words with the 'soft' 'ch' at the end of loch. The ONLY reason I can pronounce it correctly is because half my family are Scottish, and would have killed me for being a Sassenach disowned me if I couldn't.

It doesn't come naturally to most people with my accent, simply because it is a much 'softer' sound than the harsh glottal stops and bridging 'r' that we are used to forming.

MaryZed Thu 11-Oct-12 23:13:21

It is amazing how everyone does understand each other, though I suppose it is helped by teachers tending to teach in schools where the majority of children have a similar accent to the teacher.

How would a scottish teacher teach phonetically to a Somerset child, for example? It would be a bit messy.

We have that problem with our children learning Irish. There are three very distinct dialects from Ulster, Connaught and Munster. I remember ds having a teacher from Ulster, then one from Munster, then an Ulster one again. The pronunciation of words (even simple verb endings) and the general vocabulary is unrecognisable from one to the other, and she got very confused.

Even now, with the introduction of "standard Gaelic" to schools, the difference between the words and accents used by different teachers is extraordinary. So much so that I cannot understand any Ulster Irish at all.

I'm amazed that English is (more or less) understood over the entire UK.

AmIthatbad Thu 11-Oct-12 23:13:47

Brilliant thread.

<wonders whether to bring up John "good with food" Hannah>


Moln Thu 11-Oct-12 23:25:29

Apparently with the Irish it's to do with the seperation of the areas and not much visiting going on and the language evolving seperatly in each area, in some cases an old irish word the word was split and Ulster Irish uses the end of it and Muster the start of it (i can't recall what the word was though - useful of me!

Doesn't really explain why it didn't happen to that extent in England though - however there are regional terms etc that leave people from other areas baffled onhearing them

Ivy I'm fairly sure the K at the end of ing is a Brummie thing(k) but I don't know who far out it reaches

waterlego Thu 11-Oct-12 23:30:44

I hear 'somefink' a lot down South, mostly from younger speakers.

I like the sort of lingering 'g' that Liverpudlians have, when they say 'something-uh'

Euphemia Fri 12-Oct-12 11:18:22

Water, in parts of Scotland it's "suh-hun". smile

BreconBeBuggered Fri 12-Oct-12 11:54:53

Reading this thread has just reminded me of the first time I heard my Ulster-born future MIL refer to me (ie, her) as whorrre.
She probably still does, a little bit.

jaggythistle Fri 12-Oct-12 15:38:03

if you've ever been to Inverness you can hear how -ing is somehow pronounced -een.

you hear people talking about hangeen out the washeen. or goeen out.

i can't even type how seven and eleven are pronounced up there. grin

maybe Moray Firth radio is on t'internet...

AmIthatbad Fri 12-Oct-12 16:11:28

I love the Inverness accent. I read somewhere (can't remember where) that they speak the "purest" form of English. Not sure if that's true, although I think it is very soft and easy on the ear.

jaggythistle Fri 12-Oct-12 16:31:22

I'd always heard something like that too ami though i was always a bit hmm about it.

it always sounds bizarre to me if I've not heard it for a while!

MaryZed Fri 12-Oct-12 16:41:30

Euphemia, I have just read your last post four times frantically trying to work out how you could write "water" as "suh-hun".

Then I got it blush.

Littlesurprise Fri 12-Oct-12 16:48:46

I'm sorry... A Northerner is giving a lecture on correct English? Isn't this the lesser known fifth horseman? Duck and cover, everyone!

MaryZed Fri 12-Oct-12 16:54:03

Not only a Northerner, Little. There are a couple of us who are Irish and someone from Scotland here too.

We have it all sorted wink. The English are the only people who can't speak English properly.

Littlesurprise Fri 12-Oct-12 17:18:18

As language takes it's twists and turns through time, I believe it is Oxford scholars who have ultimate authority on what English actually is. If you disagree, or choose not to adhere to any part of that (including standard Oxford pronunciation, accent, etc), this unfortunately makes you a linguistic deviant... Or wrong. wink

MaryZed Fri 12-Oct-12 18:03:14

I had better be a linguistic deviant so, as I'm certainly not wrong wink

jaggythistle Fri 12-Oct-12 18:16:26

"the English are the only people who can't speak English properly"

that made me grin a bit!

LinguisticDeviant Fri 12-Oct-12 19:09:28


i can't even type how seven and eleven are pronounced up there

I'm saying it in my head, jaggythistle grin

SDeuchars Fri 12-Oct-12 19:56:20

As a lowland Scot who went to Aberdeen University, spent 15 years in SW London and has been in Wiltshire for 13 years, I find this conversation fascinating. My own pronunciation is, of course, exemplary.

In London, the f for th drove me mad (I lived near Fort' Neef - spelt Thornton Heath).

My local pet hate is sustificate - a document which is awarded at the end of a course, for example.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Fri 12-Oct-12 20:54:06

Jaggy - my rellies from Skye say seven as "shivun", and eleven as "livun"

CouthyMowWearingOrange Fri 12-Oct-12 20:56:11

I fully admit to not speaking English properly. grin

Or, as spoken : I fuhllyuhdmit ter no' speakin inglish proplee. grin

CouthyMowWearingOrange Fri 12-Oct-12 20:56:50

(The comma at the end of no' denotes a glottal stop)

spottyock Sat 13-Oct-12 09:25:55

Only on page 5 so forgive me if the thread has moved on or if I'm repeating but in phonics 'x' sound is taught as 'ks' and or/aw/au are together as making the same sound.

ScarePhyllis Sun 14-Oct-12 07:14:42

Yes, 'x' (when between two vowels) is written [ks] in phonetic notation. A 'k' belongs to the class of sounds we call 'stops', and if you did an acoustic analysis of someone saying (for example!) 'sexual', you would see the stop show up on the readout.

I think 'sexual' has at least 3 different pronunciations floating around, which may have been causing confusion in the discussion upthread. There's a version with a glide, which is something like seks-you-al, one without a glide, which is sek-shul, and I think there is one which is a blend of the two, 'seks-shoe-al'.

These differences are due to dialect differences - some dialects of English have a glide, or vowel-like sound between a consonant and another vowel. In this case it's a 'y' sound. Conservative RP speakers will keep the glide sound after an 's', producing e.g. 'seks-you-al', or 'syoot' for 'suit'. Most English dialects have simplified the sound sequence 'sy' to 'sh' in unstressed syllables, which produces 'sek-shul' (this doesn't happen in 'suit' because it's a stressed syllable). Then the blend is probably the result of people picking up on the different features in the other two and combining them.

Treatment of original glides in different environments is a differentiating feature in lots of English dialects - e.g. RP retains a glide after 'k' and 't', whereas US English doesn't. So an RP speaker would say say 'Kyuwait' for 'Kuwait' and 'Tyoosday' for 'Tuesday' instead of 'Koowait' and 'Toosday'.

<Makes mental note to teach own children to read before they go to school and have phonics unleashed on them>

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 14-Oct-12 09:14:47

Now I say 'Kyoowait', but Tuesday? My accent murders that word. Most people here say "Chewsday"!

snooter Sun 14-Oct-12 09:18:33

I hate extra 'h's

Shtrange, Shtupid etc - drives me nuts

& no-one in the media can say 'huge' anymore - they all say 'shooge'


MaryZed Sun 14-Oct-12 09:43:58

spottyock Sat 13-Oct-12 09:25:55
Only on page 5 so forgive me if the thread has moved on or if I'm repeating but in phonics 'x' sound is taught as 'ks' and or/aw/au are together as making the same sound.

Surely phonics can't teach that or/aw/au are the same sound shock. They are three different sounds (though au and aw can be very similar depending on the context).

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Sun 14-Oct-12 13:02:30

Oh dear, I say RTE as OR-TEE-EE.


What does this mean?!

MaryZed Sun 14-Oct-12 13:23:53

You are either Irish or wrong Hold [helpful]

Moln Sun 14-Oct-12 13:24:13


It means you might be able to get a job there, depending on how you say various other words of course.

Though I say that, even if you qualify, the chance are they'd just use one of the 'stars' if there were another role to fill. Keep thinking it won't be long before we see Pat and Miriam on the six one

Moln Sun 14-Oct-12 13:24:58

(by on I mean presenting)

Foibles Sun 14-Oct-12 13:44:53

Makes me laugh when weather presenters say 'marld' when they mean 'mild'. And they all do, (except Welsh or Gaelic speakers, I suppose). A lot of Scots say 'mi-oud', like Chinese people.

I love all the variations. Language is a work in progress, and let's hope it never stops changing, because once it does, it's dead - like Latin.

Another thing that intrigues me is how English might go the same way as Latin, in that the Roman language grew into several other, quite distinct languages - French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, etc - but all with a traceable base in Latin. Nowadays people all round the world speak varieties of English - Hinglish, Singlish, Spanglish, etc - that might one day become other languages (if they aren't already), all with their particular connections to English.

What this means, of course, is that we native speakers don't have any control at all over what other people in other countries do to English. It also means that the English we speak is just another variety (not the 'correct' form). Also, far more people world-wide speak English as a second language than as a mother tongue.

Fascinating stuff. <Or maybe not?>

Euphemia Sun 14-Oct-12 19:56:17

Carol thingy who does the weather on breakfast telly drives me nuts with her "eastren" and "westren". I bet she says "pattren" too. angry

NotForProfit Sun 14-Oct-12 21:40:45

i cant think of anything weirder then swallowing the end of a syllable the way you seem to be suggesting. the only other alternative seems to be an odd glottal stop. not everything needs to be pronounced literally as written you know!

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sun 14-Oct-12 21:56:10

Oh how CLEVER some of you lot are. envy

Linguistics sounds fascinating.

MaryZed Sun 14-Oct-12 22:07:02

Clever, GetOrf?

Don't you mean opinionated.

Or maybe you aren't talking about me grin

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sun 14-Oct-12 22:13:52

grin I am talking about those posters who are posting in detail about phonetics I don't understand a word

Actually that is fascinating what you say about words giving away if you are from a Catholic or Protestant family. I didn't know that.

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