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Why is "ough" pronounced so differently in rough and though and thought?

marked as duplicate by Mari-Lou A, sumelic pronunciation Jan 27 at 21:18

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  • Not to mention bough and lough and thorough and hiccough and cough and through, of course. This particular combination of letters is perhaps the best-known and most commonly-cited and described case in existence of English orthography being hopeless – have you tried looking somewhere like dictionaries or Wikipedia to find an answer before asking here? Please edit your question to include what you’ve find and what remains unclear to you after reading what you’ve found. As it is currently worded, the question is likely to be closed for lack of research. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 27 at 21:18
  • 1
    The question to ask is not why they are pronounced differently, but why they are spelled the same, to which the standard answer is simple that English spelling is only loosely connected to pronunciation. – choster Jan 27 at 21:18

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