Where is the ‘o’ in ‘sew’? After all, if sew is pronounced ‘sō’, then why isn’t pew pronounced ‘pō’? And, if knew followed the same rule as sew, why do we need the word know? To further confuse the matter, if sew is already pronounced ‘sō’, why is it necessary to have a totally different word to describe what someone does with, say, seed, in a field – or sow? How did this all happen?
The English language is a living language. That is, it adopts ever-changing standards by either adding new words to the mix or altering the meaning by a change in spelling. In the last 100 years or so, the changes were gradual. Today, text-communication is turning the language upside down. Is it any wonder there is so much illiteracy in the world?
Oh, and what about those silent fellows, like ‘k’ in ‘knew’, ‘y’ in ‘day’ and, yes, ‘h’ in ‘oh’? What role do they play? If the addition of those characters did something which caused the word to force a change in pronunciation, it would make sense. But it doesn’t work that way. It stands to reason, if that were the case, the ‘y’ in hey would follow an ‘a’ like it does in ‘day’ and result in the spelling ‘hay’, which it does if you’re describing a type of grass and not trying to attract someone’s attention; Therefore, saying, “Hey, dude”, is spoken to address an acquaintance but, “Hay dude” might be a way to describe someone in the hay business. Both words contain the silent ‘y’ but there is no explanation why, in one word, the ‘e’ is changed to a long ‘a’ but in the other word, the ‘a’ isn’t changed at all. Huh?
Sew, if you thought you new it all, think again. Am I write or knot?