Vowels 2 and 19, /ɪ/ and /eə/   29 pairs     [hishairs.html]

Vowel /ɪ/ is spelled <i> or <e> in beheaded and courses. The /eə/ diphthong is <air>, <are>, <ear> in swear, or <ar> in Sarah.

The contrast is not a problem for any known group of learners.

Interesting pairs include:

beheaded bareheaded
filly fairly
sirrah Sarah

The mean density is very low 0.1%. The list makes 27 semantic contrast, giving a high loading of 93%.

beheaded bareheaded 
bid bared 
Billy barely
bin bairn 
  bins bairns 
biz bares 
chid chaired 
courses corsairs
did dared 
dint daren't 
filly fairly 
finis fairness 
fizz fairs 
hid hared 
his hairs 	   
his hares
id aired 
is airs 
kid cared 
kin cairn 
lid laird 
  lids lairds 
Liz lairs
Ms mares
sirrah Sarah 
skid scared 
squid squared 
swiz swears 
whiz wares 

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011
updated Chiang Mai, 2024