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  • No, it’s not self-loathing; the “English accent” to US speakers sounds elegant or classy because of (what I think linguists refer to as) intonation, or stress patterns. And, as you point out, it’s the east-coast working classes that are non-rhotic, so naturally it would lose any prestige it may have had due to that.

    I would like to know, BTW, why the Enlish think it’s ok to put an “r” between two vowels ending and beginning two consecutive words (eg: idea”r”of). Maybe they didn’t know what to do with all the leftover “r’s” they weren’t using 🙂

    Also, what is the support for the theory that WW2 soldiers returning home led to the spread of rhoticity in US English.

  • I don’t find the English non-rhotic to be “elegant” or “classy”. It is what it is. OTOH, I find the Irish-English accent to be pleasing.

  • @ Joseph Persico
    The reason we keep rhotic r’s in between vowels is ease of pronunciation, a common force in linguistics, and also the keep our words separate. For example if we didn’t pronounce the R’s in “PARRY” it would become PAY – confusing. When it comes to R’s at the end of words the common people actually commonly add the R sound at the end of a word to the start of the next word (Butta r’and Cheese) this way it fits our pattern better; i.e pronouncing r’s at the start and in the middle of words. This feature actually creates better flow of words, and is entering British Recieved Pronunciation on News etc and programmes where presenters were always traditionally very well spoken.
    If you can do a non rhotic accent, try saying Butta and Milk, then Butta r’and Milk and you will see what I mean 🙂