Vowels 14 and 15, // versus /ɔɪ/    61 pairs      [buyboy.html]

The // diphthong is spelled <iCe>, <i>, and <y>, along with the exceptional spellings <ai> in aisle and <uy> in buy. The /ɔɪ/ diphthong is spelled <oi> or <oy>.

This is a contrast between two closing diphthongs with similar starting positions. It is unstable in some accents of English, notably Irish and "Mummerset" (exaggerated West Country rural). It is not a problem for EFL learners.

Interesting pairs include:

divide devoid
liar lawyer

The density figure is 7.52%. The set makes 32 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 52.5%.

aisle oil
  aisles oils
ally alloy 
  allied alloyed
  allies alloys
  allying alloying 
bide buoyed
bile boil
buy boy 
  buying buoying 
  buys boys 
divide devoid 
fie Fowey 
file foil
  filed foiled
  files foils
  filing foiling
grind groined
I'll oil
imply employ 
  implied employed 
  implies employs 
  implying employing 
isle oil
  isles oils
kind coined 
kine coign 
kite quoit
  kites quoits	
liar lawyer
  liars lawyers  
lighter loiter
  lightered loitered
  lightering loitering
  lighters loiters
line loin
  lines loins
mild moiled
mile moil
  miles moils
pies poise
pint point
  pints points
ply ploy 
  plies ploys
rye Roy 
sigh soy 	
tide toyed
tie toy
  ties toys
  tied toyed
  tying toying 
tile toil
  tiled toiled
  tiles toils
  tiling toiling
try troy 
vice voice
  vices voices
vied void
vile voile

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2013