It is absurd that English linguists refer to “rhotic” dialects of English. Rho is not an English letter! “Rhotic” is another one of those fancy foreign words smuggled into academia by some Eton toff who wanted to bandy about his knowledge of ancient languages like a giant todger. Well, excuse me if I come off looking like a boorish johnson, but I say, “No deal!” Greek terminology takes English linguistics and wrecks it. It’s time for rhexit.
When we speakers of proper English dialects logically pronounce intervocalic “t” as /t/, we don’t say that it’s “tautological”. Imagine the optics if we derided lispers’ speech as suffering from “asigmatism”.1 Nod your head if you think that G-droppin’ ought to be called “nutation”. Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Other people don’t let the Greeks corrupt descriptions of their language. The Dutch famously don’t use /g/, yet we don’t tell them their language is “ungammatical”. Nobody other than a few renegade Somalis would claim that Arabic lost its /p/’s due to “pi-
We must stop using the term “rhotic”. Instead, let’s say that some English speakers have an r-ful spirit. As any true Englishman knows, most Americans are r-souls.
1 The SpecGram lawyers asked us to redact the following sentence on “thetan worshippers” on the grounds that it would malign adherents of two different religions, some of whom are noted for being litigious.
|Hippotomia of Tyre
|Good Enough for Folk Etymology
|SpecGram Vol CLXXXIV, No 4 Contents|