Quirky World: Kick in the Rs for distinctive Scottish accents

SCOTLAND: The distinctive rolling “R” in Scottish accents is being lost, according to experts.

Quirky World: Kick in the Rs for distinctive Scottish accents

Younger Scots are no longer pronouncing the “R” in words as forcefully as older generations, softening words such as “car”, “bar” and “fur”.

Older generations of Scots had been said to roll the letter in words such as “girl” and “farm”, but younger speakers now appear to miss the letter out altogether.

Some have suggested that the change is due to softer accents on television among Scottish actors and broadcasters, but experts at the University of Glasgow and Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh have found that it is a more natural occurrence.

Professor Jim Scobbie from QMU led the research with Dr Eleanor Lawson and Professor Jane Stewart-Smith. Socio-linguist Dr Lawson said: “What we found is that some Scottish speakers are delaying the ‘R’ gesture, so it’s happening in silence afterwards.”

Spending a pound


A riverside pub popular with tourists has started charging £1 for non-patrons to spend a penny after the owner got fed up with one too many blockages.

The Boatyard in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, is rated top of all the town’s restaurants on TripAdvisor but its popularity — and its convenience — has apparently forced its owner’s hand.

Manager Kurt Murray said on two occasions plumbers have had to be called out, at a cost of up to £400 (€576), to unblock toilets.

“Would you believe it, we’ve had a pair of ladies’ knickers flushed down there, and nappies,” he said.

Mr Murray said non- patrons were walking in off the street and costing the pub on average 46p per flush after electricity, toilet roll and hand soap was factored in.

Paper trail


Three armed men wearing masks robbed an open-air concert venue in North Carolina, getting away with $500,000 (€461,700) — but left behind a trail of banknotes that led to at least one arrest.

Authorities said a 911 call reported that the business office of Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh had been robbed and the cash taken away in backpacks. Police attended and found a trail of cash leading to a nearby shed.

Adjani Jari Bryant, aged 22, was arrested shortly after the robbery.

He faces 24 charges, including armed robbery, second-degree kidnapping and conspiracy.

Officers are looking for two more suspects.

Short shrift


Athletes at an Illinois high school will keep the nickname Freeburg Midgets, despite the objections of a group representing people with dwarfism who find the name offensive.

About 500 people gathered at Freeburg Community High School to urge the school board not to dump the mascot.

The Little People of America had asked Freeburg and six other schools nationwide to drop the midgets moniker. The Freeburg nickname was coined nearly 100 years ago by a reporter after he watched the school’s short basketball team beat much larger opponents.

Slow speed chase


A suspected drug dealer tried to evade authorities in Nevada while riding a scooter.

The Nevada Appeal reports that Joseph Scurti is facing charges including suspicion of a parole and probation warrant and probation violation.

Obstruction charges are pending. The slow-speed pursuit began when Carson City deputies tried to pull Scurti and his TaoTao scooter over.

Deputies say they checked the scooter’s registration and learned that Scurti had two outstanding felony warrants. Authorities say he drove down Highway 50 then rode onto a sidewalk, hitting a patrol vehicle.

The scooter then became stuck underneath the car.

Scurti told police he was riding away because he had to drop the scooter off at a friend’s house.

Shooting from the hip


London Fire Brigade (LFB) has apologised after announcing “no hipsters were injured” in a restaurant blaze.

People complained on Twitter that the comment about a fire in east London was “unprofessional” and “not funny”.

Street food trader Hank’s Po’ Boys posted: “Hard work and livelihoods ruined and you make a joke of it? Completely unprofessional and insulting to many people”.

The controversial tweet said: “Shoreditch restaurant blaze early this morning. Thankfully no hipsters were injured”. LFB later posted: “Sorry if we caused any offence by using the term hipsters. Hope Shoreditch businesses are back on their feet soon.” Six fire engines and 35 firefighters were called to a pop-up restaurant on Great Eastern Street.

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