Vowels 14 and 16, // versus /əʊ/    341 pairs      [hidehoed.html]

The // diphthong is spelled <iCe>, <i>, <y> and <ey> in eye, besides occurring in the letter names I and Y. The /əʊ/ diphthong is spelled <oCe> <oa>, <ow> or <eau> in beau.

This is a contrast between two closing diphthongs with similar starting positions but different directions of movement. It is not a problem for learners.

Interesting pairs include:

condign condone
ivory ovary
milder moulder
radii radio
tiger toga

The density figure is 5.31%. The set makes 187 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 54.8%.

abide abode
  abides abodes
align alone
ally aloe
  allies aloes
arise arose
belie below
bestride bestrode
bide bode
  bided boded
  bides bodes
  biding boding
bight boat
  bights boats
bile bole
bind boned
bine bone
bines bones
bison bo'sn
bite boat 
  bites boats
  biting boating
blight bloat
  blighted bloated
  blights bloats
  blighting bloating
blighter bloater
  blighters bloaters
Blythe blow
bronchi bronco
buy beau   
  buys beaux
buy bow
  buying bowing 
  buys bows
buyer Boer 
  buyers Boers 
by beau
by bow 
cider soda
cipher sofa
  ciphers sofas
Clive clove
condign condone
crime chrome 
cry crow 
  cried crowed
  cries crows
  crying crowing 
despise dispose
  despised disposed
  despises disposes
  despising disposing
dice dose
  diced dosed
  dices doses
  dicing dosing
die doe
  dies does
dime dome
  dimes domes
diner donor
  diners donors
diver Dover 
drive drove
  drives droves
driver drover
  drivers drovers
eye O
  eyes O's
eye owe  
  eyeing owing
  eyed owed
  eyes owes
fie foe
file foal
  filed foaled
  files foals
  filing foaling
find phoned
fine phone
  fines phones	
  fined phoned
  fining phoning
fly floe 
  flies floes
fly flow
  flying flowing 
  flies flows
flight float
  flighted floated
  flighting floating
  flights floats
fries froze
fry fro 
gibe Job 
  gibes Jobs 
glide glowed
grind groaned
gripe grope
  gripes gropes
  griping groping
guide goad 
  guided goaded 
  guides goads 
  guiding goading 
guile goal 
guy go
  guying going 
  guys goes
hi ho
hide hoed
hie hoe
  hieing hoeing
  hies hoes
hies hoes
high hoe
  highs hoes
highboy hautboy 
  highboys hautboys 
highly holy
hikes hoax
hind honed
hive Hove 
  I's O's
I owe
  I'd owed
I'd ode
I'm ohm
iced oast
Iver over
ivory ovary
jive Jove 
kind coned 
kine Colne 
kite coat 
  kites coats 
knight note
  knighted noted
  knighting noting
  knights notes
liar lower
  liars lowers
lie lo
lie low
  lies lows
  lying lowing 
life loaf
  lives loaves
lifer loafer
  lifers loafers
lime loam
limey loamy
line loan
  lined loaned
  lines loans
  lining loaning
might moat
might mote
mike moke
  mikes mokes
mild Mold 
milder moulder
mile mole
  miles moles
miler molar
  milers molars
mind moaned
mine moan
  mines moans
  mining moaning
  mined moaned
mire mower
  mires mowers
mite moat
  mites moats
mite mote
  mites motes  
mitre motor
  mitres motors
my Mo 
nigh know 
nigh no
night note
  nights notes
nine known 
outride outrode
overfly overflow 
  overflies overflows
  overflying overflowing 
override overrode
oversize oversews 
pies pose
pike poke
  pikes pokes
pile pole 
  piled polled
  piles poles 
  piling poling
pile poll
  piled polled
  piling polling
  piles polls  
pine pone
  pines pones
pipe Pope 
  pipes Popes 
pry pro 
  pries pros
pries prose
prize pros
prize prose
quite quote
radii radio
rewrite rewrote
Rhine roan
rhyme Rome 
rhyme roam
  rhymed roamed
  rhymes roams
  rhyming roaming
ride road
  rides roads
rile rôle 	
  riles rôles
rile roll
  riled rolled
  riles rolls 
  riling rolling
ripe rope
rise rose 
  rises roses
rive rove
  rived roved
  rives roves
  riving roving
rye roe  
shy show
  shied showed 
  shies shows 
  shying showing
shine shown 
shrive shrove
side sowed
sigh so
sigh sew
  sighing sewing
  sighs sews
  sighed sewed
sigh sow
  sighs sows
  sighing sowing  
  sighed sowed
sign sown
silo solo
  silos solos
sine sown
slide slowed
sly sloe 
sly slow
  slyer slower 
  slyest slowest 
  slyly slowly 
  slyness slowness 
smite smote
snide snowed
spied Spode 
spike spoke
  spikes spokes
stile stole
  stiles stoles
stride strode
strike stroke
  strikes strokes
  striking stroking
strive strove
sty stow
  sties stows
test-drive test-drove  
Thai toe
  Thais toes
Thai tow
  Thais tows  
thrive throve
thy tho' 
thyme tome
tided toadied
tidy toady
  tidied toadied
  tidies toadies
  tidying toadying
tie toe
  ties toes
  tying toeing 
tie two
  ties tows  
  tying towing
tiger toga
  tigers togas
tight tote
  tights totes
tike toque
  tikes toques
tile toll
  tiled tolled
  tiles tolls
  tiling tolling
tiled told  
time tome
  times tomes
tine tone
  tined toned
  tines tones
tiny Tony 
title total
  titled totalled
  titles totals
  titling totalling
tripe trope
Tyne tone
type tope 
  typed toped 
  types topes 
  typing toping 
underwrite underwrote
vile vole
whiled wold
why woe
wide woad	  
wild wold
wive wove
wrier rower 
write rote
writer rota
  writers rotas
writer rotor 
  writers rotors 
Y whoa
Y woe
  Y's woes

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2009