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Old 12-11-2011, 09:46 PM
guizot guizot is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: An East Hollywood dingbat
Posts: 7,780
Originally Posted by hibernicus View Post
A thought occurs to me. Is it possible that English spelling was standardised in such a way as to distinguish unrelated homophones by different spelling? For example, "hare" and "hair" are standardised on different spellings. If so, this would explain the surprising lack of examples that satisfy the OP.
There might be some cases of this, but usually the different spellings come from different etymologies, and often, in fact, at one time the words were not homophones. The pronunciation changed, but the spelling didn't.