The /v/ sound is spelled with <v>, <ve> or <vv> in savvy. The /r/ sound is spelled <r>, <rr> or <wr> in wry.
The /v/ sound is a voiced labio-dental fricative. The /r/ sound is normally described as a voiced frictionless continuant or liquid. It has many allophones in RP, including a voiced continuant with grooved or retroflex tongue position before vowels, a single tap resembling /d/ intervocalically, and a voiceless fricative after /t/. The contrast can only occur initially or medially and is not generally a problem for foreign learners, but some speakers, including native speakers, may have a problem when it occurs medially if they also make r/w substitutions.
Interesting pairs include:
The mean density value is 1%. The list makes 79 semantic distinctions, a loading of 56%.
avid arid avidity aridity avows arouse bevy berry bevies berries bevy bury bevies buries Cavan Carron cavil carol cavilled carolled cavilling carolling cavils carols civil Cyril covey curry coveys curries divide deride divided derided divides derides dividing deriding division derision ever error gavotte garotte gavottes garottes hover horror hovers horrors kvass crass outvied outride pervade parade pervaded paraded pervades parades pervading parading starving starring V re vac rack vacs racks vain rain vain rein vain reign vale rail vales rails valid rallied valley rally valleys rallies vamp ramp vamped ramped vamping ramping vamps ramps vane rain vanes rains vane rein vanes reins vane reign vanes reigns vapid rapid vapidity rapidity vapidly rapidly vat rat vats rats vector rector vectors rectors veer rear veered reared veering rearing veers rears veiled railed veiling railing vein rain veined rained veins rains vein rein veins reins veined reined vein reign veins reigns veined reigned vend rend vending rending vends rends vendor render vendors renders vent rent vented rented venting renting vents rents vest rest vested rested vesting resting vests rests vet ret vetted retted vetting retting vets rets vetch retch vetches retches vetch wretch vetches wretches vex Rex Vic Rick vice rice Vicky Ricky victual Writtle vie rye vie wry vied Ryde vied ride vies rise vigour rigour vigorous rigorous vigorously rigorously vigour rigger vile rile vim rim Vince rinse vine Rhine viper riper visible risible visibility risibility visor riser visors risers vogue rogue vogues rogues vole rôle voles rôles vole roll voles rolls votary rotary votaries rotaries vote rote vote wrote voter rota voters rotas voter rotor voters rotors vow row vows rows vowed rowed vowing rowing vowel rowel vowels rowels vows rouse vox rocks
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, November 2010.