Advanced search

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."


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'.

JudysDreamHorse Wed 10-Oct-12 23:33:25

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

JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 11-Oct-12 05:53:23

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.

storminabuttercup Thu 11-Oct-12 08:15:31

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now