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Re: My favorite silent English letter is:

by mertserger (Curate)
on Mar 02, 2012 at 09:11 UTC ( #957412=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to My favorite silent English letter is:

I've changed my mind. I'd like to vote for the silent r in oh-so-many words in the standard English-English pronunciation. I can't call it British English because Scottish people often pronounce the r where the English don't. My dear departed Scottish father even said the r in "iron".

So my vote should have gone to the silent r that is a major feature of English-English pronunciation, the technical adjective being "non-rhotic".


PS I am fairly sure all the words in the poll would appear in any reasonable English dictionary so although they may have been borrowed from other languages they're English now. Someone once said: "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."

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Re^2: My favorite silent English letter is:
by hominid (Priest) on Mar 02, 2012 at 18:41 UTC
    I don't think the r's are silent, they just take 'em away and use 'em somewhere else. Like after a's. I always crack up when listening to BBC Mid-East reports mentioning the "Garzer Strip"

      The bÍte noire in this household over the years has always been the invisible, but sometimes rolled, R that results in "law and order" sounding like "laurrrrra ndoda". And since "ndoda" means "man" in several of the Nguni languages, it could be a valid name.


      John Davies

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