If you’re a non-rhothic speaker, then “better” and “Beretta” rhyme.

Say what?

Yup. And a hearty thanks to Geoffrey K. Pullum, a contributor to Language Log for his amusing observations about linguistics and the recently released “Skyfall,” starring cinema’s sexiest man (or so say the loyal readers of SF Chron movie critic, Mick LaSalle.)

According to Mr. Pullum, a distinctly un-stuffy academic, Skyfall is rich in linguistic “stuff” (his term). One notable example the rhyming of “better” and “Beretta,” which occurs while Mr. Craig is cavorting in the shower with a gorgeous Eurasian woman. He murmurs that he likes her better without her Beretta, “and the rhyme, you see, only works as “in a non-rhotic dialect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-rhotic) such as standard Southern British.”

There you have it. I love hearing people speak British English in all its lovely permutations—from annoying upper crust to the squad room accents of Inspector Jane Tennison’s crew to Jimmy Cliff in “The Harder They Come.”

Still can figure out where they come up with “alu-minium,” though.

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