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The pronunciation of the English county Berkshire can surprise those who don't know that the traditional English pronunciation is with the first vowel like that in 'car' and 'bar': 'BArk-sher', IPA: /'bɑːk ʃə/. The less educated pronunciation is as it sounds, with a first vowel like that in 'Turk' or 'jerk': 'BURK-sher', IPA: /'bɜːk ʃə/. This is also the pronunciation of the insult, in British English, berk, /bɜːk/.

A similar feature of pronunciation, with the spelling '-er-' representing the sound 'AHr' can be seen in clerk, the proper noun Hervey and the military rank of 'sergeant'.