Words with R

What Happened to R?

by Owen Fourie

You’ll hear it in speech. You’ll see it in writing. Or, more accurately, you will not hear it in speech, and you will not see it in writing. It is the missing letter R.

Here are twenty instances of words that are affected by this anomaly.

In the following pairs, the correct word appears first with a brief definition. The incorrect version of the word follows in italics with a proposed definition.

arbitrary

determined by chance or personal whim

arbitry [try Arby’s]

suggestion to experience the fare of a well-known restaurant chain

barbiturate

a substance derived from barbituric acid and used, medically, as a sedative or anticonvulsant

barbituate [barbie-tuate]

perpetuation of Barbie doll fad

children

human offspring

childern [child-earn]

a child who earns money for various tasks

deteriorate

to become worse; to degenerate

deteriate [deter-i-ate]

Despite being deterred by some, I ate (junk food) and this habit became worse.

entrepreneur

a person who takes on the risks of a business venture

enteperneur

an entrepreneur who succeeds despite lack of attention to detail

February [fe-brew-ery]

second month of the year in the Gregorian calendar

Febuary

a month in which nothing should be brewed—no coffee, no beer

fraternity

a group of people whose common interest or purpose bands them together

faternity [fat-ernity]

being overweight for an eternity

infrared

has a longer wavelength than visible light but a shorter wavelength than radio waves on the electromagnetic spectrum

infared [red infant]

the color of a crying Caucasian infant

infrastructure

the basic structure of a system, an organization, a country

infastructure [infant structure]

the skeletal structure of an infant

interpret

explain the meaning of words or actions

interpet [inter-pet]

internet service for your pets

libertarian

someone who believes in and strives for civil liberty and the lessening of state control in every area of life

libetarian [li-bet-arian]

libertarian with a gambling problem

library

a building or a room housing a collection of books and related material for research or borrowing by the community

libary [li-bar-y]

place for censored books like Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

literature

written works, particularly writings of superior quality

litature [lit-ature]

product of enlightenment and maturity, but not a written work

particularly

especially; a word used to distinguish or emphasize a point

particuly [party-cully]

a person who is easily tricked at parties [cully = a person who is easily duped]

perspiration

the process of sweating

prespiration [pre-spiration]

the moment before you break into a sweat

poltergeist

a ghost that reveals itself by making noises and moving or throwing objects

poltregeist [poltre-geist]

a petty [paltry] ghost

respiratory

relating to the action of breathing

respitory [re-spit-ory]

a vessel containing spittle

secretary

a person who assists an employer or an official with correspondence, record-keeping, appointments, and other related tasks

secetary

an inferior secretary, one who has a problem with spelling

surprise

an event, a gift, a fact that is unexpected

suprise [sup-rise]

a supper that has been levitated

thermometer

an instrument used to measure temperature

themometer [the-mom-eater]

a cannibal who eats a mother

There are many words with one or more r’s that cause difficulty in pronunciation and spelling. If you can think of one or more, go ahead and list the incorrect version in your comments with your proposed definition.

—–

Here are more articles to help you with English words, grammar, and essay writing.

Copyright © 2012 by English Essay Writing Tips www.englishessaywritingtips.com


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.