Gleeful Grandiva is brought to you today by the letter R and the number 23,000, honouring the fact there are nearly that many words in the English language where the third letter is R.

R is for ridiculous which is what it’s like to type a story on my notebook these days as the ‘r’ on the keyboard only works when it wants to.

R is for randomly, which is how the ‘r’ works.

R is for rage, what I feel when I’m writing a story and realize (another ‘r’ word) that the ‘r’ isn’t registering.

Did you know?

R is the 18th letter of the English alphabet. It is the eighth-most used letter (I can attest to that).

R is the most used consonant, though Wikipedia puts it at fourth most used consonant – clearly, Wikipedia typists have not been challenged with an unresponsive ‘r’.

More than 5500 words start with the letter R, though the numbers vary depending on which site you visit.

Ever wonder who counts these things anyway?

R is for rarely, which is about how many times ‘r’ shows up when I press my finger to it on the keyboard.

R is for readers who could be forgiven for being confused when I write; “kindness is impotant” (did I mean important or impotent?).

R is for recycling, where I sometimes want to put my notebook.

R is for red, what I see when I’ve realized I’ve published something with the missing letter.

R is for regret that I’m not tech-savvy enough to work it out and will have to enlist the help of a son.

R is for refuse to let it get me down.

R is for remembering to check everything twice before publishing and resolve to get the issue fixed.

R is for the retail outlet where I bought my (still under warranty) notebook where the employees have no problem making my ‘r’ work.




It seems I’m not the only one with an issue with the letter R.

The R sound is one of the most commonly used sounds in English, yet one of the most challenging to pronounce.

The R sound is usually one of the last sounds to be mastered by children. They are often six or seven years old before they can properly pronounce it.

The R sound can be pronounced 8 different ways correctly, depending on the letters with which it is combined, which is why it is so difficult to master.

If you consider the positioning of all of the variations of an ‘r’ at the beginning, middle, or end of a word, you end up with 21 total variations.

There are two different ways to create an ‘r’ sound.

In one method the back of the tongue is raised so the sides of the tongue touch the back teeth. The centre of the back of the tongue is lower and the air travels through this groove to create the sound.

In the other method, the tip of the tongue is raised and curled back behind the tooth ridge while the back of the tongue stays low.



Now, try and say this really fast five times.

A right-handed fellow named Wright,
In writing “write” always wrote “rite”
Where he meant to write right.
If he’d written “write” right,
Wright would not have wrought rot writing “rite”



The original Semitic R is thought to have been inspired by an Egyptian hieroglyph.

The letter is sometimes referred to as the littera canina (canine letter) as the Latin  R was articulated to sound like a growling dog – kind of how I sound when I’m trying to type it.

R is for rectifying the problem and revealing the cause.

I may have to reset my computer but I won’t let it restrict what I want to do.

When my R is restored to working order, I will be rewarded with a great sense of relief which will help me feel relaxed.



The Rant


I’m going to have a little rant

To make R work I simply can’t

I try to type a smart remark

A painful journey on which I embark


Crook becomes cook, and fright becomes fight

Though I’m pressing that button with all of my might

My brother’s a bother, my art simply at

I’m starting to feel like a real dingbat


I want to brag, it turns into a bag

This missing R letter is really a drag

You might get a sting when I write about string

It really is quite an amazing thing


Forget all about my Ps and Q

To make R work would surely do

But you my friend are now a fiend

I hope you know what I really mean


My draft makes me daft, free comes with a fee

Because of a letter that we cannot see

I’ve discovered this error can be quite handy

When this lowly nan goes from Grandy to Gand(hi)y. 🙂


Thanks for reading my ranting and rambling about the letter R.

I was a bit reticent to start, thinking it was reckless to write while it is still not working, but then became resolute to record my resentment.

Have a gloious week, Tamuia. 🙂




  • What a fun article, Tami. I’m sure we all related to it and could just imagine how frustrating the problem would be. It reminds me of when I visited Morocco and in order to access the internet, needed to go to an internet cafe. Well, the keyboards there are not QWERTY layouts. I think they use the AZERTY set up. Z and W are swapped and M is moved to the right of L. The other swap is Q and A. I was advised to disregard that one because people’s brains easily substitute an A for a Q. In lower case anyway. Anyway, it was a frustrating 2 weeks and so I empathize with your frustration but definitely didn’t make a clever post out of my dilemma. Good for you!

  • Interesting post, Tami. It was fun reading. Thank you. I didn’t know there were “More than 5500 words start with the letter R”.

  • You really got some rhyme and rhythm going on there. Reading really was rather reckless and ridiculous with all those ripe renditions of rather clever randomness. Now I cannot stop thinking of many more r words…..

  • Wow.. this was pretty interesting.. but I must admit… you didn’t mention my favorite r word…. RITA! 😉 That was 5 times with that letter too, now 6. lol not bad for a few lines. lol

  • How fun, Tami! Looking at my Macbook keypad, I would say that my ‘s’ and ‘e’ and ‘r’ are pretty equally. Maybe you could write a post about ‘s’ or ‘e’ to see how it stacks up to ‘r’. I had no idea that ‘r’ was challenging for young children to master, as when I was young, my challenge was more with the letter ‘s’.

    Hopefully you had a blast creating this clever post and that you get your ‘r’ back working soon. It sounds like life just isn’t the same without a working ‘r’ on your notebook. Enjoyed the post very much! 🙂

    • It’s true, Beverley, life just isn’t the same with a non-working R. I did have fun writing this piece and it was a positive way to vent my frustrations. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Fantastic Fun! Thank you <3

  • Love all the fun that you had with this post. Bravo xoxo

  • No wonder lions roar, Tami. 🙂 Here’s something to add to your list of Rs. When I lived in Poland, a rescued puppy whom I sheltered for a few days before finding her a home was given the name Nora by her new pet parents. I had called her Pookie because she had that look but the new pet father told me that the letter R in the name made it easier for dogs to respond. Really?

  • Tamuria – This is so fun! My favorite line is: “kindness is impotant” (did I mean important or impotent?). If you’re like me, you wrote the line, and then wondered for some time if it was really funny (and after I read something 10 times, I’m clueless) – anyway, it was VERY funny!

  • I write with a twist, although I did not see
    a way to use the R for you and for me

    With no idea how powerful the R can be
    Get it fixed so it sets you free

    I’m surprised by the frequency of the letter R
    Don’t think I’m using it much, It must be over par

    Your creativity in presenting your woes
    Stimulated mine & that’s how it goes.

  • LMAO, Tamuria! Although I do truly feel your pain. But I love, love, love semantics, and your poem is priceless. Now, that’s making lemon sauce from lemons!

  • Wow…this is a lot of energy into a rant about a letter in the alphabet. Very creative 😉

  • Hi Tamuria 🙂

    What a fun post and great read! Never really thought about the letter “R” being so interesting lol Thanks for the awesome share 🙂

  • The 8th most used letter? Judging by the disappearing letters on my keyboard, I would say it is my 4th most used letter. Thank God I can touch type, because it won’t be long before I can’t find any letters by sight!

  • Tami , thanks for making me feel better. I’ve been fighting with my keyboard and cursor which is driving me crazy. Loved your rant and you have brilliantly turned it into an insightful revelation.

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