Consonants /s/ versus /r/, 418 pairs     [singring.html]

The /s/ sound is spelled with <s>, <ss>, <ce> or <sw> in sword. The /r/ sound is spelled with <r>, <rr> or <wr> in write. Notice the pair sow/row and its plurals appear twice since both are homographs.

This is a contrast between a voiceless sibilant fricative and a voiced retroflex continuant. It causes no problems.

Interesting pairs include:

buxom buckram
foursome forum
fussier furrier
masonic moronic
mezzo Metro
second reckoned
senate rennet
severance reverence
suffer rougher
syllabaries syllabuses

The mean density value is 1.7%. The list makes 204 semantic distinctions, a loading of 49%.

acid arid
  acidity aridity
assay array 
  assayed arrayed 
  assaying arraying 
  assays arrays 
assessed arrest 
assize arise 
  assizes arises 
Bessie berry
Bessie bury
buxom buckram 
C re
calluses calories
Cecil wrestle
cedar reader
  cedars readers
cede read
  cedes reads
  ceding reading
ceiling reeling
cent rent
  cents rents
cider rider
  ciders riders
cite right 
  cited righted
  cites rights
  citing righting
cite rite 
  cites rites
cite write
  cites writes
  citing writing
civet rivet
  civets rivets
classification clarification 
classify clarify 
  classifying clarifying 
  classified clarified 
  classifies clarifies 
coursing coring 
cussed curried 
  cusses curries 
cyst wrist
  cysts wrists
decide deride
  decided derided
  decides derides
  deciding deriding
decision derision
decisive derisive
  decisively derisively
dissect direct 
  dissected directed 
  dissecting directing 
  dissects directs 
dissection direction 
  dissections directions 
foursome forum 
  foursomes forums 
fussier furrier 
gassy gharry
  gasses gharries
gassy Gary 
horsy hoary 
hussy hurry 
  hussies hurries 
Jessie Gerry 
Kassel Carol 
lassie Larry 
literacy literary
losses lorries 
masonic moronic
masses marries 
massy marry 
messy merry 
  messier merrier 
  messiest merriest 
mezzo Metro 
mouses Maoris 
mousy Maori 
outside outride 
  outsides outrides 
oversaw overawe 
oversewed overrode 
pierces peris 
piercing peering 
primacy primary
  primacies primaries
pursing purring 
reseed reread 
  reseeding rereading 
  reseeds rereads 
sack rack 
  sacked racked 
  sacking racking 
  sacks racks 
saddle raddle
  saddled raddled 
sag rag 
  sagged ragged 
  sagging ragging 
  sags rags 
sage rage
  sages rages 
said read 
said red
sail rail
  sailed railed 
  sailing railing 
  sailings railings 
  sails rails 
sake rake 
  sakes rakes 
sale rail
  sales rails
sally rally
  sallied rallied 
  sallies rallies 
  sallying rallying 
Sam ram
sand rand 
  sands rands 
sandy randy
  sandier randier 
  sandiest randiest 
sane rain 
sane reign
sane rein
sang rang 
sank rank 
sap rap 
  sapped rapped 
  sapping rapping 
  saps raps 
sapper rapper
  sappers rappers
sap wrap 
  sapped wrapped 
  sapping wrapping 
  saps wraps 
sapper wrapper
  sappers wrappers
sash rash 
  sashes rashes 
sat rat 
sate rate 
  sated rated 
  sates rates 
  sating rating 
satyr ratter 
  satyrs ratters 
saucing soaring
savage ravage 
  savaged ravaged 
  savages ravages 
  savaging ravaging 
save rave 
  saved raved 
  saves raves 
  saving raving 
  savings ravings 
saver raver 
  savers ravers 
saw raw 
saw roar
  sawed roared 
  saws roars 
say ray 
scent rent
  scented rented 
  scenting renting 
  scents rents
scythe writhe
  scythed writhed
  scything writhing
  scythes writhes
sea re
seal real
seal reel
  sealed reeled 
  seals reels
  sealing reeling
sear rear 
  seared reared 
  searing rearing 
  sears rears 
season reason
  seasons reasons
  seasoned reasoned
  seasoning reasoning
  seasonable reasonable 
sec wreck
secession recession 
  secessions recessions 
second reckoned 
secs Rex 
secs wrecks
sect wrecked
sector rector 
  sectors rectors 
seduce reduce 
  seduced reduced 
  seduces reduces 
  seducing reducing 
seduction reduction 
  seductions reductions 
see re
seed read
  seeds reads
  seeding reading
seedy reedy 
  seedier reedier 
  seediest reediest 
seek reek
  seeks reeks
  seeking reeking
seethe wreathe
  seethed wreathed
  seething wreathing
  seethes wreathes
seine rain
  seined rained 
  seines rains 
  seining raining 
seine rein
  seined reined 
  seines reins 
  seining reining 
seine reign
  seined reigned 
  seines reigns 
  seining reigning 
senate rennet 
send rend 
  sending rending 
  sends rends
  sent rent
sender render 
  senders renders 
sends wrens
Seoul rôle
Seoul roll
separable reparable 
separation reparation 
  separations reparations    
set ret
  sets rets 
  setting retting 
severance reverence 
severe revere 
sew roe 
sew row
  sews rows
  sewing rowing
  sewed rowed
sewed road 
sewer rower 
  sewers rowers 
sewn roan 
sews rose 
sex Rex
sex wrecks
sick rick
  sicked ricked 
  sicks ricks 
side ride
  sides rides
  siding riding
  sidings ridings 
sift rift 
  sifts rifts 
sigh rye 
sighed ride
sighs rise 
sight right 
  sighted righted
  sights rights
  sighting righting
sight rite 
  sights rites
sight write
  sights writes
  sighting writing
  sightings writings
sign Rhine 
signed rind 
Sikh reek
  Sikhs reeks
since rinse 
sing ring
  sings rings
  singing ringing  
  sang rang
  sung rung
sing wring
  sings wrings
  singing wringing 
  sung wrung
singer ringer 
  singers ringers 
singer wringer 
  singers wringers 
sink rink 
  sinks rinks 
Sioux rue
sire wrier
sit writ
  sits writs
site right 
  sited righted
  sites rights
  siting righting
site rite 
  sites rites
site write
  sites writes
  siting writing
size rise
  sizes rises 
  sizing rising 
so roe
so row
soap rope 
  soaped roped 
  soaps ropes 
  soaping roping 
soapy ropey 
  soapier ropier 
  soapiest ropiest
soar raw
soar roar 
  soars roars
  soaring roaring
sob rob 
  sobbed robbed 
  sobs robs 
  sobbing robbing
soccer rocker 
sock roc 
sock rock
  socked rocked 
  socking rocking 
  socks rocks 
socket rocket 
  sockets rockets 
sod rod 
  sods rods 
solar roller 
sold rolled 
sole rôle 
  soles rôles 
sole roll
  soling rolling 
  soles rolls
  soled rolled
some rum 
son run
  sons runs 
song wrong
  songs wrongs
sonny runny 
soon rune 
sort wrought
sot rot 
  sots rots 
sou rue 
  sous rues 
sough rough 
  soughed roughed 
  soughing roughing 
  soughs roughs 
sought wrought
soul rôle
  souls rôles
soul roll
  souls rolls
sound round 
  sounded rounded 
  sounding rounding 
  sounds rounds 
  soundly roundly 
  soundness roundness 
sourcing soaring
sow row 
  sows rows
  sowing rowing
  sowed rowed
sow row   
  sows rows
sows rouse 
soy Roy 
sub rub 
  subbed rubbed 
  subbing rubbing 
  subs rubs 
suck ruck 
  sucked rucked 
  sucking rucking 
  sucks rucks 
suffer rougher 
sum rum
summer rummer 
sump rump 
  sumps rumps 
sun run
  sunning running 
  suns runs
sundown rundown   
sunny runny
  sunnier runnier 
  sunniest runniest 
sun-up run-up 
sussed rust 
syllabaries syllabuses
unseasonable unreasonable 
unsold unrolled 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.