Vowels 1 and 9, /i/ and /u/    370 pairs      [weeswoos.html]

Although these vowels are both long and both close, they differ in lip-rounding and are sufficiently far apart to cause no problems for learners.

The list shows the letter names B, C, T and U in contrast with words. Spellings of /i/, apart from the common <ee> and <ea> include final <e> in be and ye, <ei> in the place name Leigh, <ie> in the German loan word lied, and <iCe> in marine. The spelling of /u/ is normally <oo>, but we also see <ew> in chew and Jew, <ui> in bruise and suit, and <ou> in croup.

Interesting pairs include:

media moodier
sneaker snooker
unseated unsuited

The only mildly taboo word pair is wee/woo.

The mean density value for this contrast is 6.8%. The list makes 212 semantic contrasts, giving a sematic loading of 56%.

B boo
B's boos
B's booze
be boo
  being booing
bead booed
beam boom
  beamed boomed
  beaming booming
  beams booms
bean boon
  beans boons
beast boost
  beasts boosts
beat boot
  beating booting
  beats boots
bee boo
  bees boos
been boon
bees booze
beet boot
  beets boots
beetle Bootle 
being booing
betel Bootle
bleed blued
bream broom
breed brewed
breed brood
  breeding brooding
  breeds broods
breeze brews
breeze bruise
  breezed bruised
  breezes bruises
  breezing bruising
buckteeth bucktooth
C Sioux
C sou
  C's sous
C Sue
cheese chews
cheese choose
  cheeses chooses
creed crewed
creed crude
creep croup
  creeps croups
D do
  D's do's
deem doom
  deemed doomed
  deeming dooming
  deems dooms
E's ooze
ease ooze
  eased oozed
  eases oozes
  easing oozing
easel ouzel
  easels ouzels
easier oozier
  easiest ooziest
easy oozy
eyeteeth eyetooth
feed food
  feeds foods
feel fool
  feeling fooling
  feels fools
fetal footle
field fooled
flea flew
flea flu
flea flue
  fleas flues
flee flew
flee flu
flee flue
  flees flues
fleet flute
  fleetest flutist
  fleeting fluting
  fleets flutes
foetal footle
G Jew
  G's Jews
gee Jew
geese goose
gene June
  genes Junes 
ghee goo
gleam gloom
  gleams glooms
glee glue
  glees glues
greaves grooves
grieve groove
  grieved grooved
  grieves grooves
  grieving grooving
grippe group
grippes groups
he who
healer hula
  healers hulas
heap hoop
  heaped hooped
  heaping hooping
  heaps hoops
heap whoop
  heaped whooped
  heaping whooping
  heaps whoops
heat hoot
  heated hooted
  heater hooter
  heaters hooters
  heating hooting
  heats hoots
heaves hooves
Hindi Hindu
jean June
  jeans Junes
keel cool 
  keeled cooled 
  keeling cooling 
  keels cools 
keen coon 
  keens coons 
keep coop 
  keeping cooping 
  keeps coops 
keeper cooper
  keepers coopers 
keeper Cupar 
key coo 
  keyed cooed 
  keying cooing 
  keys coos 
key coup
  keys coups
knee gnu 
  knees gnus 
lea lieu
lea loo
leak Luke
lean loon
  leans loons
leaner lunar
leap loop
  leaped looped
  leaping looping
  leaps loops
leas loos
leas lose
lease loose
  leased loosed
  leasing loosing
  leases looses
least loosed
lee lieu
lee loo
  lees loos
leek Luke
lees lose
Leigh lieu
Leigh loo
lever louvre
  levered louvered
  levers louvres
  levers louvres
lido ludo
lied loot
lied lute
Lisa looser
litre looter
  litres looters
marine maroon
  marines maroons
me moo
mead mood
  meads moods
mead mooed
mean moon
  meaning mooning
  means moons
meanie moony
meat moot
  meats moots
media moodier
meed mood
  meeds moods
meed mooed
meet moot
  meeting mooting
  meets moots
mete moot
  meted mooted
  metes moots
  meting mooting
mi moo
mien moon
  miens moons
milk-teeth milk-tooth
needle noodle
  needles noodles
Nice noose
niece noose
  nieces nooses
P pooh
pea pooh
peal pool
  pealed pooled
  pealing pooling
  peals pools
peal Poole 
pee pooh
peel pool
  peeled pooled
  peeling pooling
  peels pools
peel Poole
peep poop
  peeps poops
preen prune
  preened pruned
  preening pruning
  preens prunes
quay coo
  quays coos
quay coup
  quays coups
re rue
read rood
  reads roods
read rude
  reader ruder
ream rheum
ream room
  reams rooms
reed rood
  reeds roods
reed rude
reed rued
reedy Rudy 
reef roof
  reefed roofed
  reefing roofing
  reefs roofs
reel rule
  reeled ruled
  reeling ruling
  reels rules
reprieve reprove
  reprieved reproved
  reprieves reproves
  reprieving reproving
Rheims rooms
scene soon
scree screw
  screes screws
screed screwed
sea Sioux
sea sou
  seas sous
sea Sue
season Susan 
seat suit
  seated suited
  seating suiting
  seats suits
see Sioux
see sou
  sees sous
see Sue
seen soon
seep soup
  seeped souped
  seeping souping
  seeps soups
seethe soothe
  seethed soothed
  seethes soothes
  seething soothing
seize sous
she shoe
she shoo
sheet chute
  sheets chutes
sheet shoot
  sheeting shooting
  sheets shoots
skeet scoot
  skeets scoots 
sleep sloop
  sleeps sloops
sneak snook
  sneaks snooks
sneaker snooker
  sneakers snookers
sneeze snooze
  sneezed snoozed
  sneezes snoozes
  sneezing snoozing
speak spook
  speaks spooks
steal stool
  steals stools
steel stool
  steels stools
steep stoop
  steeped stooped
  steeping stooping
  steeps stoops
steep stoup
  steeps stoups
sweep swoop
  sweeping swooping
  sweeps swoops
T to
T too
T two
  T's twos
tea to
tea too
tea two
  teas twos
teal tool
team tomb
  teams tombs
tease twos
teat toot
  teats toots
tee to
tee too
tee two
  tees twos
teem tomb
  teems tombs
teeth tooth
three threw
three through
ti to
ti too
ti two
tree true
  treed trued
  treeing truing
  trees trues
trees trews
unseated unsuited
VD voodoo
we woo
weaned wound
wee woo
  weed wooed
  weeing wooing
  wees woos
wheeze woos
wisdom-teeth wisdom-tooth
wreath Ruth
ye ewe
ye U
ye yew
ye you
yeast used 
zee zoo
zees zoos

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011.