By Shawna Collier
The pronunciation of this letter has just one syllable
(NASHVILLE) Just in time for summer, the National Association of Elementary School Teachers issued a plea this morning to parents of African-American pupils that they teach their children that the letter ‘R’ has only one syllable.
“For years we’ve been faced with a smattering of African-American children who pronounce ‘R’ like ‘are-uh,’” Connie Brown, NAEST president told The Peoples News. “This has got to stop.”
Almost every black person can remember a classmate who, when reciting the alphabet, would stumble over ‘R,’ as in “…ell, em, en, oh, pee, cue, are-uh, ess, tee…” but carry on as if nothing was amiss.
Since the culprit was usually a big kid, no one alerted him to his error by either correction or ridicule.
The Peoples News showed a chart of the alphabet to 100 people in downtown Nashville this morning and asked them to pronounce the letters. Seventeen said ‘r-uh.’
“What’s wrong with what I said?” wondered one of them, Amos Nandy, a Nashville resident who said he is 6’5” and weighs 278 pounds. The Peoples News reporter did not tell him.
No one is certain when ‘R,’ commonly pronounced ‘are,’ took on the extra ‘uh’—or why.
Fisk University linguistics professor Archie Drell said some trace the multi-syllabic pronunciation to African tribes whose dialects don’t include the letter R.
“But of course that’s just crazy talk,” Drell said. “There’s no connection to Africa or slavery or anything else other than people too lazy to learn the correct pronunciation.”
The NAEST also reiterated for the 17th straight year that ‘ask’ is not pronounced ‘ax’ and that while it reluctantly accepts ‘fixin’ to’ as an alternate for ‘going to,’ the non-word ‘fintin’ is not.
Note: This article is satire, brought to you by the creative minds at The Peoples News. It’s not real, but we hope it made you think.
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