The /e/ vowel is spelled <e>, or <ea> in head. The vowel /ʊ/ is spelled with <u> or <oo> except for <ou> in should and <oe>in the loan word stoep.
Both vowels are short but are far enough apart for the distinction to cause no problems.
The mean density is 0.8%. The pairs make 24 semantic contrasts, giving a loading of 48%.
beck book becks books bell bull bells bulls belle bull belles bulls belly bully bellied bullied bellies bullies bellying bullying fell full fetid footed fetter footer fetters footers head hood headed hooded heading hooding heads hoods heck hook hecks hooks Maidenhead maidenhood neck nook necks nooks pellet pullet pellets pullets pet put petting putting pets puts recce rookie recces rookies Rex rooks set soot sets soots setting sooting shed should stead stood step stoep steps stoeps steppe stoep steppes stoeps Tech took wed wood wedded wooded weds woods well wool wells wools wreck rook wrecked rooked wrecking rooking wrecks rooksGeographical: Outside English-speaking countries, most visitors are from Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Ecuador, Turkey, Lithuania, Malaysia, Yemen and Spain. Average 10 visitors per month.
John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011