Rambukk is blessed with the pleasure of having several friends and aquaintances living in, or descended from the British Isles.
Blessed because many Brits have a great sense of humour, i.e. compatible with mine (though more often than not served with a dash of malicious pleasure). Brits are culturally related to Norwegians, they are good at small-talk, patient enough for big-talk, they love music (from brass to jazz), beer and football, and they sing (not like the Norwegian murmur). Despite a common prejudice towards the British (fried-) cuisine, there are Brits who know how to cook (-and I happen to know them both!).
Brits are amazing skiers (not amazingly good, just amazing!), provided that there is a Norwegian around on the top to turn their skis in the skiing-direction, then push. Down, at the bottom of the hill, their sportsmanship urge themselves to argue with the paramedics, insisting that they feel "just marvelous!", while collecting gear and bodyparts, limping bravely and determined towards the lift for a new ride.
The Brits are proud traditionalists and consider themselves to be quite unique (which they are!). Not neccessarily a true anecdote, but nevertheless a good one: On the 22nd October 1957, The Times had a headline on the front page, saying "Heavy fog in Channel - Continent cut off!".
The Brits also have quite a strategic mind, illustrated in this joke:
One dark night an Englishman and an Irishman are driving head on, on a twisty road. Both are driving too fast and collide on a sharp bend in the road. To the amazement of both, they are unscathed, though their cars are both destroyed. In celebration of their luck, both agree to put aside their dislike for the other from that moment on. The Englishman goes to the boot and fetches a bottle of 12 year old whisky. He hands the bottle to the Irishman, whom exclaims, "may the Irish and the English live together forever, in peace, and harmony!" The Irishman then tips the bottle and gulps half of the whisky down. Still flabbergasted over the whole thing, he hands the bottle to the Englishman, whom replies: '' no thanks, I'll just wait till the Police get here!"
Are the Brits spotless then? -you might ask.
No, absolutely not. There is one big issue. One question that almost keeps me awake at night. One, existential question that none of my British friends has been able to answer comprehensibly yet.
Some even assert that I must be wrong, and that my imagination is just playing with me.
If you listen carefully to spoken English, whether it be in a conversation, on BBC or in a movie, you will probably hear a sound in-between certain words. A sound that apparently doesn't belong to the words pronounced.
As a linguistic mosquito, the sound of the letter "r" frequently pops up between words ending with an "a"- (or "a"-like) sound and words beginning with one. Also sometimes after words ending with an "e"-sound.
Examples: "law-r-abiding", "al quaida-r-attack" and "gaza-r-area".
My question is simply: Why? Is it some sort of a phonetic crutch, present for the sole purpose of helping with the pronunciation? Is it a genetic defect only audible to people from outside the Queen's Empire?
Or is it just me?
Please educate me!