The eagle-eyed amongst you will undoubtedly have noticed that we have been ‘blogless’ for a couple of weeks. This is because I have been away on my annual holiday. However, I’m back and eager to pick up where we left off. J

Fricatives! Yes, fricatives! The consonant sounds produced by friction! Let’s begin with the ones that don’t have any voice, the ones which are just friction and air. /f/ as in fan /fæn/, /θ/ as in thin /θɪn/, /s/ as in sink /sɪŋk/ and finally ʃ/ as in ship /ʃɪp/. These ‘unvoiced’ consonants have their ‘voiced’ counterparts. /v/ as in van /væn/, /ð/ as in than /ðæn/, /z/ as in zoo /zuː/, and /ʒ/ as in measure /meʒə/. There is a school of thought, however, which wonders if it actually matters in the days of ‘Global English’ whether you use one or the other /ʌvə/, as long as there’s no breakdown in communication. After all, lots of people in Bournemouth /bɔːməθ/ say /bɔːməf/ and there doesn’t seem to be a problem. There are others though, /dəʊ/ who disagree, and don’t think /fɪŋk/ it’s acceptable. J Next time we’ll have a look at the sounds which begin as a ‘plosive’ and end as a ‘fricative’!