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The Wikipedia article states that the Great Vowel Shift ended in 1700:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Vowel_Shift

Why is it, then, that Lord Byron (to pick a name at random) rhymes "I" and "Italy," "good" and "flood," "put" and "but," "move" and "love"?

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    I rhyme blood and flood. And Lord Byron has tons of near-rhymes in his poetry (so many that he couldn't have possibly have pronounced all of them as perfect rhymes). Try looking at Keats' rhymes ... he was much more precise. – Peter Shor Oct 18 '15 at 2:18
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    Yes, I rhyme blood and flood. In the North of England you will hear 'put' and 'but' rhyming. I'm pretty sure there's somewhere in England today where 'love' and 'move' rhyme. Do you have a link to where he rhymes 'I' and 'Italy'? – chasly from UK Oct 18 '15 at 2:24
  • Peter Shor: I'll definitely get back to you on Keats. – Ricky Oct 18 '15 at 2:32
  • chasly from UK: I'm sorry about the confusion. My mistake. I meant "blood" and "good," of course. ... "Love" and "move", really? Please clarify: is it luv or loove? Or what? ... As for the link: "Of his departure had been sent him by/His Spanish friends for those in Italy." Don Juan, Canto the Second, Stanza No. 24. – Ricky Oct 18 '15 at 2:36
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    It's a convention perhaps intended to convey an impression of antiquity, to write as rhymes things that used to rhyme, in days past. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_rhyme – Greg Lee Oct 18 '15 at 3:23
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Vowels (and consonants) are constantly evolving. Writing tends to freeze a time period's speech patterns, like a fossil of a life form, but the language continues to evolve. There was a sound change in Spanish-Portuguese from terra -> tierra, fazenda -> hacienda etc. Changes are constantly happening. Why a particular artist in a particular time period made the stylistic choices he or she did is something I don't know.

  • Hi LindaK, Welcome to EL&U, while we appreciate your answer, we expect you to put some support/evidence to back up all your claims. It's very important for us all :) – Jony Agarwal Oct 27 '15 at 12:25

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