Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
In a circle, meaning "registered (trademark)," first incorporated in U.S. statues 1946. Three Rs (1825) said to have been given as a toast by Sir W. Curtis (1752-1829). R&R "rest and relaxation," first recorded 1953, American English; R&B "rhythm and blues" (type of popular music) first attested 1949, American English.
If all our r's that are written are pronounced, the sound is more common than any other in English utterance (over seven per cent.); the instances of occurrence before a vowel, and so of universal pronunciation, are only half as frequent. There are localities where the normal vibration of the tip of the tongue is replaced by one of the uvula, making a guttural trill, which is still more entitled to the name of "dog's letter" than is the ordinary r; such are considerable parts of France and Germany; the sound appears to occur only sporadically in English pronunciation. [Century Dictionary]She goes on to note that in British humorous writing, -ar "popularly indicates the sound of the vowel in father" and formations like larf (for laugh) "are to be read with the broad vowel but no uttered r." She also quotes Henry James on the characteristic prominence of the medial -r- sound (which tends to be dropped in England and New England) in the speech of the U.S. Midwest, "under some strange impulse received toward consonantal recovery of balance, making it present even in words from which it is absent, bringing it in everywhere as with the small vulgar effect of a sort of morose grinding of the back teeth."
The moment we encounter the added r's of purp or dorg in our reading we know that we have to do with humor, and so with school-marm. The added consonants are supposed to be spoken, if the words are uttered, but, as a matter of fact, they are less often uttered than seen. The words are, indeed, largely visual forms; the humor is chiefly for the eye. [Louise Pound, "The Humorous 'R,'" "American Mercury," October 1924]
radical (usually an alkyl or aryl group)
respiratory exchange ratio
or r roentgen
Abbreviation of radius
The symbol for resistance.
unit of X-radiation or gamma radiation, the amount that will produce, under normal conditions of pressure, temperature, and humidity, in 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of air, an amount of positive or negative ionization equal to 2.58104 coulomb. It is named for the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen. See also rem.