The /e/ vowel is spelled <e>, or <ea> in head, and occurs in the letter names L and X. The vowel /ɔ/ shows a number of spellings including <or>, <oar>, <au>, <au>, <al> or <aw>.
The vowels differ in length and are well apart in the mouth, so should not be a problem for any learners.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density is 2.8%. The pairs make 137 semantic contrasts, giving a loading of 58%.
abed aboard abet abort abets aborts abetted aborted abetting aborting ate aught ate ought beck balk becks balks bed bawd beds bawds bed board bedded boarded bedding boarding beds boards bedroom boardroom bedrooms boardrooms befell befall bell ball belled balled belling balling bells balls belled bald belle ball belles balls ben bourn beset besought bet bought bread broad Bren brawn centre saunter centred sauntered centres saunters centring sauntering check chalk checked chalked checking chalking checks chalks Czech chalk Czechs chalks Cres crores deb daub debs daubs debtor daughter debtors daughters decking Dorking Delhi Dawley den dawn dens dawns dent daunt dented daunted denting daunting dents daunts Des daws ebb orb ebbs orbs Ed awed edgy orgy edges orgies edible audible edibility audibility edit audit edited audited editing auditing edits audits editor auditor editors auditors elder alder elders alders error aura errors auras Fed ford fell fall felling falling fells falls felon fallen felt fault fem form fen faun fens fauns fen fawn fens fawns fend fawned fez fours fled flawed Fred fraud fret fraught geld galled gent jaunt gents jaunts get ghat gets ghats Ghent gaunt guess gorse head hawed head hoard headed hoarded heads hoards heading hoarding headings hoardings head horde heads hordes heck hawk hecks hawks held hauled hell hall hells halls hell haul hells hauls hem haulm hen horn hens horns inedible inaudible infest enforced ken corn kenned corned kenning corning kens corns Kenny corny L all L awl L's awls lead laud leaded lauded leading lauding leads lauds lead lord leads lords Len lawn lender launder lenders launders lens lawns Les laws Med Maud Meg morgue melt malt melted malted melting malting melts malts men morn mend mourned mender maunder menders maunders metal mortal metals mortals Ned gnawed ness Norse net nought nets noughts nett nought peck pork pecker porker peckers porkers pen pawn penned pawned penning pawning pens pawns pen porn pepper pauper peppers paupers pet port petted ported petting porting pets ports petal portal petals portals read roared res roars ret wrought said sawed says saws seabed seaboard seabeds seaboards setter sorter setters sorters shed shored shell shawl shells shawls sketch scorch sketched scorched sketches scorches sketcher scorcher sketchers scorchers sketching scorching smell small smells smalls spend spawned stead stored stem storm stemmed stormed stemming storming stems storms stench staunch stenches staunches tech talk techs talks tel tall tell tall teller taller ten torn tenement tournament tenements tournaments tent taunt tepid torpid tepidity torpidity tepidly torpidly tepidness torpidness terrace torus terrave Taurus Terry Tory tremor trauma tremors traumas veld vault vent vaunt vented vaunted venting vaunting vents vaunts wed ward wedded warded wedding warding weds wards weld walled well wall welled walled welling walling wells walls welter Walter wen warn wens warns wend warned wept warped wet wart wets warts wetter water X auks yell yawl yells yawls yen yawnGeographical: Outside English-speaking countries, most visitors are from Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, France, Philippines, Ecuador, Vietnam, South Korea, Malaysia, Lithuania, Yemen, Spain and Greece. Average 11 visitors per month.
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011