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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."


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.

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 21:56:10

Oh how CLEVER some of you lot are. envy

Linguistics sounds fascinating.

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!

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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?>

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

(by on I mean presenting)

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

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

You are either Irish or wrong Hold [helpful]

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 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).

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'


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

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

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>

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.

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

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

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 20:54:06

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

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.

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

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!

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

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

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 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 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!

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