Vowels 8 and 13, /ʊ/ versus //    66 pairs      [bookbake.html]

The /ʊ/ vowel is usually spelled <oo>, <u>, and <oul> should.The // vowel is spelled <aCe> or <ai>, and turns up as <ê> in the loan word fête. Notice that the contrast signals a tense change in forsook/forsake and in took/take and its compounds.

This is a contrast between a short vowel and a diphthong. There is very little likelihood of confusion.

Interesting pairs include:

woofer wafer
Worcester waster

The density figure is 3.37%. The set makes 34 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 51.5%.

betook betake 
book bake 
  booked baked 
  booking baking 
  books bakes 
brook brake 
  brooked braked 
  brooking braking 
  brooks brakes 
bull bail 
  bulls bails 
bully bailey 
  bullies baileys 
cook cake 
  cooked caked 
  cooking caking 
  cooks cakes 
crook crake
  crooks crakes 
foot fate 
  foots fates
foot fête  
  footed fêted
  footing fêting 
  foots fêtes 
forsook forsake 
full fail 
hook hake 
look lake 
  looks lakes 
mistook mistake 
overtook overtake 
partook partake 
pud paid 
pull pail 
  pulls pails 
pull pale  
  pulled paled 
  pulling paling 
  pulls pales
put pate 
  puts pates 
retook retake 
rook rake 
  rooked raked 
  rooking raking 
  rooks rakes 
shook shake 
should shade 
soot sate 
  sooted sated 
  sooting sating 
  soots sates 
stood staid 
took take 
undertook undertake 
wood wade 
  wooded waded 
would wade
woofer wafer 
  woofers wafers 
wool wail 
  wools wails
wools Wales 
Worcester waster
worsted wasted 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2009