Why the pronunciation for letter 'e' is different in both words 'poem' and 'poet'? Is there any grammatical rule, or did pronunciation just evolve in this way?

In the American Heritage Dictionary, 5th edition, the pronunciation for poem is (pō′əm) while for poet it is (pō′ĭt). Why is it a different pronunciation for same letter?

closed as unclear what you're asking by FumbleFingers, RegDwigнt Nov 29 '18 at 14:00

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    Bear in mind that "poem" is pronounced about 6 different ways. – Hot Licks Nov 29 '18 at 13:47
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    (American poet Billy Collins says "pome".) – Hot Licks Nov 29 '18 at 13:53
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    These are weak vowels. Some people pronounce all weak vowels with /ə/, some people distinguish between /ə/ and /ɪ/, and some people have three or four different weak vowels. Native English speakers pay very little attention to which one you use; carrot and caret are effectively homophones no matter what the AHD says. So pronounce them however you want; you're not going to confuse anybody. – Peter Shor Nov 29 '18 at 13:57
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    Letters never get pronounced. It's sounds that get written down. But the spelling encodes way more than just pronunciation. Such as etymology, like in this case. Do you really want access the verb and access the noun to be spelled completely differently? Why? To what end? – RegDwigнt Nov 29 '18 at 14:00

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