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<   No. 2641   2010-04-20   >

Comic #2641

1 {scene: the Infinite Featureless Plane of Death}
1 Death of Being Wrestled To Death By Steve: G'DAY. SORRY ABOUT THE DELAY. THERE WAS SOME CONFUSION.
1 Scientist Adam: Who are you?
2 Death of Being Wrestled To Death By Steve: DEATH OF BEING WRESTLED TO DEATH BY STEVE, FORMERLY DEATH OF BEING EATEN BY AN ALLOSAURUS.
3 Scientist Jamie: That's a strange formal title.
3 Death of Being Wrestled To Death By Steve: FORMERLY, NOT FORMALLY.
4 Scientist Jamie: Oh, I see.
4 Scientist Adam: I didn't know Death had an Australian accent.

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One of the major, if not the major, distinctions between different English accents is rhoticity. This is whether or not you pronounce the letter "r" when it is not followed by a vowel sound.

In rhotic accents, the letter "r" is always pronounced with the distinctive "r" sound. In non-rhotic accents, while the letter "r" in a word may modify the preceding vowel sound, it is not actually pronounced as the "r" sound unless followed by a vowel. So while speakers of both accents may say barren the same way, they will say bard differently.

American English is mostly rhotic, while British and Australian English is mostly not. So while (most) Americans will pronounce formerly and formally differently, (most) Australians will pronounce them exactly the same.

The word rhotic, by the way, comes from the Greek letter rho, which is the analogue of "r" in English.

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