and only have different pronunciations?
It's probably not easy to answer exactly why this happened (past and present being identical in spelling), because I don't think anyone ever set out to do things this way. Like most standard English words, read was not always spelled this way. The OED lists, for example, rædde, redis, redys, reeds, reids, redds, reed, red, redd, etc. over the course of written English history. The OED does briefly touch on the past/present spelling issue:
To me, that is not a terribly satisfying answer, but it could be the correct one.
protected by tchrist Oct 28 at 2:27
Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.
Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?