This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Nuts and Bolts: rhoticity.

The great thing is that it's all right.

Really, it is.

That pronouncing-all-your-rs thing. You can pronounce them and be rhotic - or not pronounce them all, and be non-rhotic. It's just a matter of geography.

For instance, do you pronounce the r in car?

You probably do if the word is followed by alarm (try it) but otherwise, if you come from England, you probably don't.

English-speakers from other places tend on the whole to sound their rs even when they come at the ends of words.

My Christmas cards, for instance, have only one r in them, after the Ch; my butter, when I talk about it, has no r in it at all unless it's in something like butter icing.

It doesn't matter. Usually.

Although I must admit that the Wicket the Ewok used to get in a terrible state when trying to say the word warrior, didn't he.

Thing To Consider Today: rhoticity. This word comes from the Greek rho, which is their name for the letter r.

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