Linked Questions

1
vote
2answers
556 views

Why isn’t the pronunciation of “though” anyhow close to the one of “tough”? [duplicate]

The word tough is pronounced /tʌf/. The word though has a completely different pronunciation, that is /ðəʊ/. Is there a reason why the latter would not be pronounced /ðʌf/?
1
vote
0answers
546 views

Why so many words in English are pronounced different from their spelling? [duplicate]

As a non native English speaker, I am astonished at the amount of English word pronounced different from their spelling. For instance, 'Would' is pronounced like 'Wood', 'Whole' is pronounced like "...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

How come we write drought and draught but pronounce [draut] and [dra:ft] or write enough and though but pronounce [i’naf] and [đou]? [duplicate]

How come we write drought and draught but pronounce [draut] and [dra: ft] or write enough and though but pronounce [i’naf] and [đou]?
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Why is pronunciation of rough and though different? [duplicate]

Why is "ough" pronounced so differently in rough and though and thought?
26
votes
5answers
48k views

Why are there 3 different ways to pronounce “oo”?

My German colleagues were laughing at the way I pronounce google, and it led to a discussion. With words like google, yahoo, poodle and loose, the oo has a sound similar to the German ü sound. With ...
11
votes
4answers
12k views

Why does “ow” have two different sounds

Why is it that the "ow" in now makes the /aʊ/ sound while "ow" in snow makes the /oʊ/ sound? Has this always been, was it spelled differently and then changed, or was it spelled this way but the sound ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Why did /x/ change to /f/ in English?

As we know, the English language doesn't have the /x/ phoneme anymore (at least in an everyday kind of context*) and the sound seems to have been dropped in many words, such as in light or eight. ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Where do the idiosyncrasies in the spellings of English words come from and why do they survive?

For example: GH in enough is pronounced "F" O in women is pronounced short "I" TI in nation is pronounced "SH" Why aren't the words spelled enouf, wimen, nashon, or why not spell fish "ghoti"? It ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

English letter sequence with most pronunciations

The letters -ough- can be pronounced a ridiculous number of different ways in English. Here is a possibly incomplete list: tough, enough cough, trough bough, plough though, dough thought, bought ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is “pint” spelt with the same last 3 letters as “hint, lint, mint, tint”?

The words hint, lint, mint, tint are all pronunced with a short-i sound. The vowel in pint is a diphthong however. Why ?
0
votes
2answers
212 views

Has there been any theory on the vowel /o/ that was inserted into words like “arrow”?

Words like tomorrow, sorrow, arrow, follow, borough contain /o/, as in the diphthong /oʊ/, which was /wə(n)/ in Middle English which was weakened from Old English /x/ or /ɣ/ + some sort of vowel. ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Blood/roof and so on [duplicate]

I have a question, which I have been thinking about the last 50 years. I know, that the word "blood" is prononcued "blaad" and I know. that "roof" is prononcued "ruuf", boot like "buut" , tool like "...