Consonantal shift

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I think I can help Alistair 
McEwen with his confusing place names, and vanishing and re-appearing consonants (Letters, 19 February). This is caused by creeping ­Anglification, still found occasionally in large estates in ­Scotland, and in parts of the New Town of Edinburgh.

It involves, as Mr McEwen rightly states, a loss of the 
letters “r” and “h” in common speech, allowing large bodies of rock to change from Cairngorms to Cayngoms.

It also, in another guise where “c” and “h” are combined, as Mr McEwen suggests, turns a large body of water into something that deters burglars from entering one’s home.

The disease is particularly prevalent on the BBC, where I just heard someone referring to a “roregg”, as part of a hangover cure. This is a manifestation of another symptom of creeping Anglicisation, where the ­previously lost “r” leaps back into speech before certain ­vowels as if it had never been away. It is seen in places like drawring rooms and I even sawr it in Canadar, but not from a ­Canadian.

I have brought this matter up with certain English persons, but they appear never to have noticed it, or even heard of it. It is all very strange, and while I hope I have helped Mr McEwen with identifying the problem, I am no nearer being able to offer a cure. Perhaps after 2014?

BRIan Bannatyne-Scott

Murrayfield Drive


I wholeheartedly agree with Alistair McEwan. I cringe when I continually hear BBC presenters refer to parts of Scotland as Eastren and Westren. Our capital city is ­usually called Edinbru.

Do they not have anybody who can point this out to presenters or does it not matter any more or is it all being controlled from Lundin?

David Mollison


West Lothian