Vowels 4 and 16, // versus /əʊ/    269 pairs      [gadgoad.html]

The // vowel is spelled <a> followed by two consonants or by one consonant in a monosyllable. The /əʊ/ diphthong has a variety of spellings including <o>, <oCe>, <ow> and <oa>.

This contrast is between a short vowel and a diphthong with the sounds well separated in the mouth, so it should not cause any problems.

There is one pair involving a mildly taboo word: fanny/phoney.

Interesting pairs include:

ashen ocean
bracken broken
elapse elopes
morass morose
pallor polar
passion potion

The density value is 4.19%. The pairs make 135 semantic contrasts, giving a loading of 50.2%.

abbey obi
  abbeys obis
Abo oboe
  Abos oboes
ad ode
  ads odes
add ode
  adds odes  
adder odour
  adders odours
am ohm
and owned
Ann own
anna owner
  annas owners
apple opal
  apples opals
as O's 
ashen ocean
at oat
ax oaks
bad bode
baggy bogey
ban bone
  banned boned
  banners boners
  banning boning
banner boner
  banners boners
bast boast
bat boat
  bats boats
  batted boated
  batting boating
batman boatman
batter boater
  batters boaters
black bloke
  blacks blokes
bracken broken
brag brogue
  brags brogues
brasher brochure
cabby Kobe 
cad code
  cads codes
Calor cola
cam comb
  cams combs
can cone
  canned coned
  canning coning
  cans cones
Cannes Colne
canny coney
cap cope
  capped coped
  capping coping
  caps copes
Capt coped
cat coat
  cats coats
catch coach
  catches coaches
  catching coaching
Chas chose
clack cloak
  clacked cloaked
  clacking cloaking
  clacks cloaks
clan clone
  clans clones
crack croak
  cracked croaked
  cracking croaking
  cracks croaks
cram chrome
crammer Cromer 
cranny crony
  crannies cronies
dam dome 
  dams domes
damn dome
  dammed domed
  damns domes
drag drogue
  drags drogues
elapse elopes
fan phone
  fanned phoned
  fanning phoning
  fans phones
fanny phoney
  fannies phoneys
flan flown
flat float
  flats floats
gad goad
  gadded goaded
  gadding goading
  gads goads
gaffer gopher
  gaffers gophers
gal goal
  gals goals
galley goalie
  galleys goalies
gash gauche
gassed ghost
GATT goat
glad glowed
gnat mote
  gnats notes
grand groaned
hacks hoax
had hoed
Hal hole
Halle holy
ham home
  hammed homed
  hamming homing
  hams homes
hap hope 
  happed hoped
  happing hoping
  haps hopes
hapless hopeless
  haplesslessly hopelessly
has hoes
have Hove 
jab Job 
  jabs Jobs 
Jack joke
  jacked joked
  jacking joking
  jacks jokes
Jan Joan
knap nope
lab lobe
  labs lobes
lad load
  lads loads
ladder loader
  ladders loaders
lam loam
land loaned
lap lope
  lapped loped
  lapping loping
  laps lopes
lavs loaves
mac moke
mad mode
man moan
  manned moaned
  manning moaning
  mans moans
map mope
  mapped moped
  mapping moping
  maps mopes
massed most
mat moat
  mats moats
  matted moated
matter motor
  mattered motored
  mattering motoring
  matters motors
Max mokes
morass morose
nap nope
Nat note
national notional
pack poke
  packed poked
  packing poking
  packs pokes
packer poker
  packers pokers
pal pole
  palled poled
  palling poling
  pals poles 
pal poll
  palled polled
  palling polling
  pals polls
pallor polar	
pan pone
  pans pones
pap Pope 
passion potion
  passions potions
pastel postal	 
patch poach
  patched poached
  patches poaches
  patching poaching
rag rogue
  rags rogues
ram roam 
  rammed roamed
  ramming roaming
  rams roams
ram Rome
rap rope
  rapped roped
  rapping roping
  raps ropes
rat rote
ratch roach
  ratches roaches
ratter rotor
  ratters rotas
sad sewed
sally solely
salon Solon 
sap soap
  sapped soaped
  sapping soaping
  saps soaps
sappy soapy
  sappier soapier
  sappiest soapiest
shad shewed
shall shoal
slap slope
  slapped sloped
  slapping sloping
  slaps slopes
smack smoke
  smacked smoked
  smacking smoking
  smacks smokes
smacker smoker
  smackers smokers
stack stoke
  stacked stoked
  stacking stoking
  stacks stokes
Stan stone
stand stoned
tabby Toby 
tack toque
  tacks toques
tan tone
  tanned toned
  tanning toning
  tans tones
tap tope
  tapped toped
  tapping toping
  taps topes
tat tote
  tatted toted
  tatting toting  
  tats totes
tattle total
  tattled totalled
  tattles totals
trap trope
  traps tropes
vat vote
  vats votes
whack woke
yak yoke
  yaks yokes

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2009