*This space was intentionally left blank.This message has been edited. Last edited by: jerry thomas,
The newspaper's website seems to have run low on bits. The two times I've clicked on the link, the request has timed out. Mayhaps an intrusive URL?
—Ceci n'est pas un seing.
... from the Toronto Star
Herre's the URRL:
..... and here's the article ....
Obama picks up an intruder
by Jack Chambers, Special to the Star
The additional "r" we sometimes hear at the end of President Barack Obama's name is well known to linguists. It is called the intrusive "r," and shows up frequently when English people (not all British – not the Scots) say "Obama" before a word that starts with a vowel.
"Obama(r) is ...", "Obama(r) appeared ...", "Obama(r) ended ..."
It never shows up before a consonant, in phrases like "Obama signed ..." or "Obama refused ..."
The explanation? English in England is r-less, which means that words like "car" and "cart" sound roughly like "cah" and "caht." One of the predictable phenomena about r-less accents is that the "r" shows up again when the word precedes a vowel, as in "the car is old."
The phenomenon of the "r" disappearing in, say, "the cah collided" and reappearing in "the car exploded" apparently beguiles speakers. They find themselves putting "r" where it doesn't really belong, when two vowels come together: "sofa(r) and couch," "Cuba(r) and France," Obama(r) and Biden."
Yet, it is not only English people. A couple of American accents are r-less. Ted Kennedy with his Boston accent and Rosie O'Donnell with her New York City accent are also capable of using the intrusive "r."
Jack Chambers is a linguistics professor at the University of Toronto
It's pretty common in the south of England. The phanton "r" even appears where is has no business at all - such as in the continuous tense of verbs ending in "w", such as "to saw". Sawing is all too often pronounced as "sawring" around here.
It's common on the east coast, too.