They (sometimes?) have the same ending when spelt but don’t rhyme when said. Why is that?

  • They do not have the same ending. Spelling is always a compromise and an approximation, it is spoken language that is primary. And in spoken English they obviously have a different ending. Which in turn makes sense as they are two completely different and unrelated words. At the same time, eye rhyme is actually a thing. – RegDwigнt Dec 13 '13 at 21:55
  • Old English, which was phonemic, has plóh or actually plóġ for the first, and snáw for the second. Why you think that snáw and plóġ ought to rhyme I have no idea. Remember that Modern English spelling does not reflect its modern pronunciation. It at best reflects the pronunciation of Middle English prior to the Great Vowel Shift. So these are all silly questions, thems that try to link spelling and pronunciation in English. It just isn’t there, so please stop looking for it. – tchrist Dec 13 '13 at 22:07
  • 2
    Because English. That's why. – Patrick87 Dec 13 '13 at 23:22
  • Patrick87 put that as an answer and I'll mark it as the answer in a heart beat! – Four_0h_Three Dec 18 '13 at 17:32

Maybe because they don't always have the same ending http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/plough_1?q=plough

  • 2
    Or rather, because it is pronunciation that is spelled and not spelling that is pronounced. – RegDwigнt Dec 13 '13 at 21:57
  • RegDwigHt you just blew my mind – Four_0h_Three Dec 13 '13 at 22:43

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