Consonants /d/ versus /s/, 548 pairs     [dipsip.html]

The /d/ sound may be spelled with <d>, <de> or <dd>. The /s/ sound has many spellings including <s>, <ss>, <se>, <sc>, <c> or <ce>. Since some of these overlap with the spelling of /z/, there is plenty of potential for mispronunciation. Notice how the homographs makes pairs variously, bass with bad and bayed, do with sew and Sioux, and lead with lease and less. Notice, too, how the assimilation of /ndz/ to /nz/ appears in pairs such as dens/sends.

The contrast is between a voiced stop and a voiceless fricative, in the same region of the mouth. It is not a problem for learners.

One mildly taboo word pair is peed/peace.

Interesting pairs include:

added acid
cordon coarsen
dago sago
deanery scenery
deduction seduction
embodies embosses
indolent insolent
maiden mason
random ransom
treadle trestle

The mean density value is 2.3%. The list makes 360 semantic distinctions, a loading of 66%.

aid ace
aide ace 
added acid 
ad ass		   
add ass
amid amiss
angered Angus 
aphid aphis
averred averse
baa'd baas
bad bass
bard baas
barred baas
bayed base
bayed bass
bed Bess 
bled bless
bodied bodice 
bodies bosses
body bossy
bound bounce 
  bounding bouncing 
braid brace 
  braiding bracing 
brewed Bruce 
brood Bruce
bud bus
  budding busing
buddies buses
  C's D's
cadet cassette
  cadets cassettes	
candle cancel	 
  candles cancels
candour cancer 
cawed coarse 
cawed course
CD cc
cede cease 
  ceding ceasing 
censored census
chord coarse
chord course
cod cos
commend commence 
  commending commencing 
concord concourse
condign consign
condole console
  condoled consoled
  condoles consoles
  condoling consoling
copied coppice
cord coarse
cord course
  cording coursing
cordon coarsen 
  cordoned coarsened 
  cordoning coarsening 
  cordons coarsens 
counted countess
creed crease 
cud cuss
curd curse
dad sad
dago sago	 
dale sail
  dales sails
dale sale
  dales sales  
dalesman salesman
dally sally
  dallied sallied
  dallies sallies
  dallying sallying
dam Sam
dame same
damn Sam
dandy sandy 
darned dance 
dandle sandal
  dandled sandalled
  dandles sandals
Dane sane
Dane seine
  Danes seines
dank sank
dapper sapper
dappling sapling
dash sash
  dashes sashes
date sate
  dated sated
  dates sates
  dating sating
daughter sorter
  daughters sorters
Dave save
daw saw
  daws saws
dawdle dorsal
dawn sawn
day say
Dayton Satan
dead said
deal seal
  deals seals
  dealing sealing 
dealing ceiling 
  dealings ceilings 
dealer sealer
  dealers sealers
deanery scenery
dear sear
  dears sears
debt set
  debts sets
debtor setter
  debtors setters
deck sec
  decks secs
decked sect
decko secco
decreed decrease 
dedicate desiccate
  dedicated desiccated
  dedicates desiccates
  dedicating desiccating
deduce seduce
  deduced seduced
  deduces seduces
  deducing seducing
deduction seduction
  deductions seductions
  deductive seductive
deed cede 
  deeds cedes 
deed seed 
  deeds seeds 
defence defend
deign sane
deign seine
  deigned seined
  deigning seining
  deigns seines
delf self
  delves selves
dell cell 
  dells cells 
demented cemented 
demon seaman
demon seamen
demon semen
denser censer 
denser censor
dens sends
dent cent 
  dents cents 
dent scent
  dented scented
  denting scenting
  dents scents
Dereham serum
derv serve
Des says	
devil Seville
Devon seven
dew sue		
dewed deuce
dhow sow
  dhows sows
Di sigh
dibble sibyl
  dibbles sibyls
dibbling sibling
die sigh
  died sighed
  dies sighs
  dying sighing
died dice 
died side
dignify signify
  dignified signified
  dignifies signifies
  dignifying signifying
dimmer simmer
  dimmers simmers
dimple simple
  dimples simples
din sin
  dins sins
  dinned sinned
  dinning sinning
dine sign
  dined signed
  dines signs
  dining signing
dingle single
  dingles singles
  dinned since
dip sip
  dips sips
  dipping sipping
  dipped sipped
dire sire
dirge serge
  dirges surges
discord discourse	 
diss sis
dissed cyst
ditty city 
  ditties cities 
divide device 
divvies civies 
dixies sixes
do sew	 
do Sioux
do so
do sou
  do's sous
dock sock
  docked socked
  docking socking
  docks socks
docker soccer
docket socket
  dockets sockets
dodder dosser
  dodders dossers
doe sew
  does sews
doe sow
  does sows
doffed soft
doggie soggy
dole sole  
  doles soles
  doling soling
  doled soled
dole Seoul
dole soul
  doles souls
doleful soulful
  dolefully soulfully
doled sold	
doll sol
donor sonar
door saw
  doors saws
door soar
  doors soars
dope soap
  doped soaped
  dopes soaps
  doping soaping
dopey soapy
dose sewed
doss sod
dossing sodding
dost sussed
dot sot
  dots sots
douse souse
  doused soused
  douses souses
  dousing sousing
dower sour
  dowered soured
  dowering souring
  dowers sours
downed sound
dread dress
  dreading dressing
dub sub
  dubbed subbed
  dubbing subbing
  dubs subs
dude deuce 
duck suck
  ducked sucked
  ducking sucking
  ducks sucks
duckling suckling
  ducklings sucklings
dude pseud
  dudes pseuds
duds suds
due sue
  dues sues
duffer suffer
  duffers suffers
dumb some
dumb sum
dumber summer
dump sump
  dumps sumps	
dun son
  duns sons
dun sun  
  dunned sunned
  dunning sunning
  duns suns
dunned dunce 
dunk sunk
Dutch such
dwell swell
  dwelling swelling
  dwellings swellings
  dwells swells
dwindle swindle
  dwindled swindled
  dwindles swindles
  dwindling swindling
dye sigh
  dyes sighs
  dyed sighed
  dyeing sighing
dyers sires
Ed S	
eddies S's 
eddy esse
embodies embosses
emend immense
endue ensue
  endued ensued
  endues ensues
  enduing ensuing
endued induce
erred Erse 
expand expanse
expend expense
fade face 
  fading facing 
feared fierce
fend fence 
  fending fencing 
fender fencer 
  fenders fencers 
ford force 
  fording forcing 
fordable forcible 
gad gas
  gadding gassing
gaud gorse
gibbered gibbous
gnawed Norse 
gored gorse
grade grace 
  grading gracing 
greed grease 
  greedy greasy 
  greedier greasier 
  greediest greasiest 
  greedily greasily 
  greediness greasiness 
griddle gristle
haddock hassock	 
harried Harris
hawed hoarse
hawed horse
heard hearse 
herd hearse
hid hiss
hoard hoarse
hoard horse
hoarder hoarser
horde hoarse
horde horse
horrid Horace 
hosted hostess	 
howdah Hausa
huddle hustle
  huddled hustled
  huddles hustles
  huddling hustling
humoured humus
I'd ice	
I.D. icy
indict incite 
  indicted incited 
  indicts incites 
  indicting inciting 
indictment incitement 
  indictments incitements 
indolent insolent
  indolence insolence
  indolently insolently
intend intense
joyed Joyce 
Jude juice
Judy juicy
kid kiss
  kidding kissing
kiddies kisses
knead Nice 
knead niece
kneed Nice
kneed niece
lade lace 
  lading lacing 
ladies laces 
lady lacy 
lad lass
laddie lassie
  laddies lasses
larned lance 
lead lease
  leading leasing
lead less
leaden lessen
lied lice 
loud louse
made mace 
maid mace
mad mass
maiden mason
  maidens masons
manned manse
Maud Morse
Med mess
murder mercer 
  murders mercers 
middle missal
  middles missals
middy missy
middies misses 
Mod moss
mood moose
mowed mouse 
mud muss
  mudding mussing
muddies musses
muddle muscle
  muddled muscled
  muddles muscles
  muddling muscling
muddle mussel
  muddles mussels
Ned ness
need Nice
need niece
noted notice
obeyed abase 
offend offence 
orchid orchis
paid pace 
pallid palace 
pampered pampas 
pardon parson
  pardons parsons
parried Paris 
peed peace 
pedant peasant 
  pedants peasants
pedal pestle
  pedalled pestled
  pedals pestles
  pedalling pestling
peddle pestle
  peddling pestling
  peddles pestles
peered pierce
penned pence 
peed piece 
played place 
pond ponce 
pound pounce
  pounding pouncing 
pretend pretence 
pride price 
priding pricing 
pud puss
purred purse
raid race 
  raiding racing 
raider racer 
  raiders racers 
random ransom
record recourse
renowned renounce 
respond response
reverend reverence	
ride rice
ruddle rustle
  ruddled rustled
  ruddles rustles
  ruddling rustling
Ryde rice
dally Sally 
dandy Sandy 
sawed sauce    
sawed source
scared scarce 
seed cease
  seeding ceasing
seedless ceaseless 
send sense
  sending sensing
sender censer
  senders censers 
sender censor
  senders censors 
sidle sisal
sinned since 
slewed sluice
slide slice 
  sliding	slicing 
soared sauce  
soared source
solid solace 
spade space 
  spading spacing 
sparred sparse
spied spice 
stand stance 
suspend suspense   
sword sauce	  
sword source
tailored talus
Ted Tess
tend tense
  tending tensing
tender tenser
tested testis
toddies tosses
trade trace 
  trading tracing 
trader tracer 
  traders tracers 
tread tress
treadle trestle
  treadles trestles
treated treatise
tried trice 
tripod tripos
you'd use 
vied vice 
void voice 
  voiding voicing 
walled waltz
wend whence
whirred worse
wind wince 
  winding wincing 
word worse  

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, February 2010.