To a T

I imagine that you would have no trouble identifying the sound of the letter T, if I asked you. Or any other letter of the alphabet, for that matter. If you’re young enough, you might still remember the chart on the wall of your primary-school classroom, which perhaps said T for Teddy Bear, or Train. But take a moment to say a few words to yourself featuring the letter T. Not only that, include a variety of words with T at the beginning, middle, and end. I’m quite confident that one or two of those sounds didn’t quite sound like the classic T sound you imagined at the beginning.

Let’s look at the following sentence: Continue reading

Putting the “R” in Accents

Obviously it’s quite clear that there are many different English-speaking accents. But what are the practical elements that distinguish these accents? One of the most important is rhoticity. If you’re not sure if you have a rhotic or non-rhotic accent, simply say the following words and phrases out loud:

car, flower, computer,  pasta and pizza, Georgia Allenby

If you pronounce the r sounds in the first three words, you have a rhotic accent.

If you don’t pronounce them, but add an r sound to the end of pasta and Georgia, then you have a non-rhotic accent. Continue reading