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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."


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???

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

RubyFakeNails Wed 10-Oct-12 11:37:05

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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!

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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