|Cartoon by David Haldane
from a flood report
in The Times
26 Sep 2012.
The /s/ sound is normally spelled with <s> or with <c> before <e>, <i> or <y> in cyst. We also see <sw> in sword and <ps> in psalm. The /h/ sound is spelled with <h>, or <wh> in whore. Notice how the homograph sow makes pairs with hoe and how.
This is a contrast between an alveolar sibilant fricative and a glottal fricative, both voiceless. It can only occur initially or medially. It may cause problems especially for speakers of languages which do not have an initial /h/, such as French and Spanish.
The mean density value is 1.9%. The list makes 153 semantic distinctions, a loading of 50%.
C he cede heed ceded heeded cedes heeds ceding heeding ceiling healing cell hell cells hells cert hurt certs hurts certs hertz cinder hinder cinders hinders cissies hisses cite height cites heights cyst hissed psalm harm psalms harms psalter halter psalters halters pseud hewed sack hack sacked hacked sacking hacking sacks hacks sad had sag hag sags hags said head sail hail sailed hailed sailing hailing sails hails sail hale sake hake sale hail sales hails sallow hallow sallowed hallowed sallowing hallowing sallows hallows Sally Halle salt halt salted halted salting halting salts halts Sam ham sandal handle sandalled handled sandals handles sandbag handbag sandbags handbags sand hand sanded handed sanding handing sands hands sandy handy sandier handier sandiest handiest sandiness handiness sang hang sank hank sap hap sapped happed sapping happing saps haps sappy happy sappier happier sappiest happiest sash hash sashes hashes sate hate sated hated sates hates sating hating satyr hatter satyrs hatters sauce hoarse sauce horse sauces horses saucer hoarser saucy horsy savanna Havana savannahs Havanas savour haver savouring havering savoured havered savours havers saw haw sawed hawed sawing hawing saws haws saw hoar saw whore saws whores sawn horn say hay sea he seal heal sealed healed seals heals sealing healing seal heel sealed heeled seals heels sealing heeling sealer healer sealers healers Sealyham helium sear hear searing hearing sears hears seat heat seated heated seats heats seating heating sec heck secs hecks sector hector sectors hectors sedge hedge sedges hedges see he seed heed seeded heeded seedes heeds seeding heeding seedless heedless seep heap seeped heaped seeping heaping seeps heaps seesaw heehaw seesaws heehaws sell hell sells hells Selston Helston selves helves sends hens senna henna sense hence Seoul hole Seoul whole seven heaven sevens heavens sew ho sew hoe sewed hoed sewing hoeing sews hoes sewer hewer sewers hewers sewn hone sick hick sicks hicks side hide sides hides siding hiding sidings hidings sigh hi sigh hie sighing hieing sighed hied sighs hies sighed hide sight height sights heights signed hind silly hilly sillier hillier silliest hilliest silt hilt silts hilts Simon hymen singe hinge singed hinged singeing hinging singes hinges sinus highness sinuses highnesses Sioux Hoo sir her sirs hers sire higher sire hire sired hired sires hires siring hiring site height sites heights so ho so hoe soaks hoax soap hope soaped hoped soaping hoping soaps hopes soar haw soared hawed soars haws soar hoar soar whore soars whores soared whored soaring whoring soared hoard soared horde sob hob sobs hobs Soc hock sock hock socked hocked socking hocking socks hocks sod hod sods hods sold hold sold holed sole hole soled holed soles holes soling holing soled hold solely holy some hum son Hun sons Huns sonny honey sonnies honeys sop hop sopped hopped sopping hopping sops hops sore haw sores haws sore hoar sore whore sores whores sorely Horley sot hot sots hots sough huff soughed huffed soughing huffing soughs huffs soul hole souls holes soul whole souls wholes sound hound sounded hounded sounding hounding sounds hounds soup hoop souped hooped souping hooping soups hoops source hoarse source horse sources horses soured Howard sous whose souse house sow ho sow hoe sowed hoed sowing hoeing sows hoes sow how sows house sub hub subs hubs such hutch sue hew sues hews suing hewing sue hue sues hues sue Hugh suitor hooter suitors hooters sulk hulk sulking hulking sulks hulks sum hum summed hummed summing humming sums hums sump hump sumps humps sun Hun suns Huns sunny honey sunk hunk surd heard Surrey hurry susses hussies sword hoard swords hoards sword horde swords hordes sword whored unsealed unhealed unseeded unheeded
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, October 2012.