Consonants /t/ versus /r/, 367 pairs     [toesrose.html]

The spelling of /t/ is <t> or <tt> and we also see silent letter combinations such as <bt> in debt. The /r/ sound is <r> or <rr> medially.

The homographs tear makes pairs with rare and rear, tarry makes pairs with tatty and tarty and routed with tooted and touted.

The contrast is between a voiceless plosive and a voiced continuant, fairly close together in the mouth. Although the /r/ sound is problematic for many learners, the contrast is not a problem.

one mildly taboo word pair is tits/writs.

Interesting pairs include:

butter borough
starting starring
tandem random
tenet rennet
tipple ripple
tortoise Taurus

The mean density value is 1.4%. The list makes 182 semantic distinctions, a loading of just under 50%.

acted acrid 
attain arraign 
  attained arraigned 
  attaining arraigning 
  attains arraigns 
attainment arraignment 
  attainments arraignments 
attest arrest 
  attested arrested 
  attesting arresting 
  attests arrests 
averting averring 
baton baron 
  batons barons 
batty Barry 
betted buried
Betty bury
blurting blurring 
butter borough
  butters boroughs 
catty carry
cattier carrier 
charting charring 
courting coring 
detect direct
  detects directs
  detected directed
  detecting directing
detection direction
detective directive
  detectives directives
detector director 
  detectors directors
fattier farrier 
fetid ferried 
genetic generic 
  genetically generically 
haughty hoary
  haughtier hoarier
  haughtiest hoariest
  haughtiness hoariness
hotted horrid 
hotter horror 
hutted hurried 
jetty jerry 
  jetties jerries 
matted married 
motto morrow 
  mottoes morrows 
patted parried 
patty parry
  patties parries 
pettish perish 
petty perry 
porting poring 
pottage porridge 
shorting shoring 
sitters sirrahs 
snorter snorer 
  snorters snorers 
  snorting snoring 
sorting soaring 
spirting spurring
starting starring 
T re
ta rah 
tack rack 
  tacked racked 
  tacking racking 
  tacks racks 
tag rag 
  tagged ragged 
  tagging ragging 
  tags rags 
tail rail 
  tailed railed 
  tailing railing 
  tails rails 
take rake 
  takes rakes 
  taking raking 
take-off rake-off 
  take-offs rake-offs 
tale rail
  tales rails
tally rally 
  tallied rallied 
  tallies rallies 
  tallying rallying 
tamp ramp 
  tamped ramped 
  tamping ramping 
  tamps ramps 
tandem random 
tangle wrangle
  tangled wrangled
  tangles wrangles
  tangling wrangling
tank rank 
  tanked ranked 
  tanking ranking 
  tanks ranks 
tanker rancour 
  tankers rankers 
tanned rand 
tap rap 
  tapped rapped 
  tapping rapping 
  taps raps 
tape rape 
  taped raped 
  tapes rapes 
  taping raping 
tar rah
tare rare 
tarried tatted
tarting tarring  
tarty tarry
taste raced 
tat rat 
  tats rats 
  tatting ratting 
  tatted ratted
tatter ratter 
  tatters ratters 
tattle rattle 
  tattled rattled 
  tattles rattles 
  tattling rattling 
tattler rattler 
  tattlers rattlers 
tatty ratty
  tattier rattier 
  tattiest rattiest 
tatty tarry 
tawse roars 
teach reach
  teaching reaching 
  teaches reaches
tear rare
  tearing raring 
tear rear 
  tears rears 
tech wreck
techs Rex 
Ted read
Ted red
teddy ready
  teddies readies 
teeth wreath
teethe wreathe
  teethed wreathed
  teethes wreathes
  teething wreathing
ten wren 
  tens wrens
tend rend 
  tending rending 
  tends rends 
tender render 
  tendered rendered 
  tendering rendering 
  tenders renders 
tenet rennet 
tent rent 
test rest 
  tested rested 
  testing resting 
  tests rests 
Thai rye
Thais rise
thyme rhyme 
tick rick
  ticked ricked 
  ticking ricking 
  ticks ricks 
tickets rickets 
tide ride
  tides rides 
  tiding riding 
  tidings ridings 
tie rye 
ties rise 
tiff riff 
  tiffs riffs 
tight right
  tights rights 
  tightly rightly 
  tightness rightness 
tight rite
  tights rites
tight write	  
  tights writes
tighter writer
tightest rightist 
tike Reich 
  tikes Reichs 
tile rile 
  tiled riled 
  tiles riles 
  tiling riling 
till rill
tills rills 
time rhyme
  timed rhymed 
  times rhymes 
  timing rhyming 
tined rind 
ting ring
  tinged ringed 
  tinging ringing 
tinkle wrinkle
  tinkled wrinkled
  tinkles wrinkles
  tinkling wrinkling
tip rip 
  tipped ripped 
  tipping ripping 
  tips rips 
tip-off rip-off 
  tip-offs rip-offs 
tipple ripple 
  tippled rippled 
  tipples ripples 
  tippling rippling 
tire wrier
tit writ
  tits writs
tithe writhe
  tithes writhes
tittle Writtle 
to rue 
to roo
toad road
  toads roads 
toast roast 
  toasted roasted 
  toasting roasting 
  toasts roasts 
toaster roaster 
  toasters roasters 
toe roe 
  toes roes
toe row
  toeing rowing 
  toes rows
  toed rowed
toes rose 
told rolled 
toll rôle  
  tolls rôles
toll roll
  tolling rolling 
  tolls rolls
Tom rhomb
tomb rheum 
tomb room
  tombs rooms 
tome Rome 
tome roam
  tomes roams 
tone roan 
  tones roans 
tongs wrongs
ton run
  tons runs
  tonning running 
too rue
too roo
took rook 
tool rule 
  tooled ruled 
  tooling ruling 
  tools rules 
toot root 
  tooted rooted 
  toots roots
  tooting rooting 
toot route
  toots routes
  tooting routing
  tooted routed  
tooth ruth 
tootle rootle 
  tootled rootled 
  tootles rootles 
  tootling rootling 
tope rope 
  toped roped 
  topes ropes 
  toping roping 
topi ropey 
tor raw
tor roar
  tors roars 
tore raw
tore roar
tort wrought
tortoise Taurus  
tortoise torus
tot rot 
  totting rotting   
  tots rots
  totted rotted
tote rote 
totter rotter 
  totters rotters 
tough rough 
  tougher rougher 
  toughest roughest 
  toughly roughly 
  toughness roughness 
  toughs roughs 
toughen roughen 
  toughened roughened 
  toughening roughening 
  toughens roughens 
tout rout 
  touted routed 
  touting routing 
  touts routs 
tow roe
  tows roes
tow row
  towing rowing
  towed rowed
  tows rows  
towel rowel 
  towels rowels 
tows rose
toy Roy 
tub rub 
  tubs rubs 
tuck ruck 
  tucked rucked 
  tucking rucking 
  tucks rucks 
tuft roughed 
tug rug 
  tugs rugs 
tumble rumble 
  tumbled rumbled 
  tumbles rumbles 
  tumbling rumbling 
tummy rummy 
tun run
  tuns runs
tunnel runnel 
  tunnels runnels 
tunny runny 
tusk rusk 
  tusks rusks 
tussle rustle 
  tussled rustled 
  tussles rustles 
  tussling rustling 
tut rut 
  tutted rutted 
  tutting rutting 
two rue
  twos rues 
two roo
  twos roos  
Tyne Rhine 
type ripe 
typist ripest 
untapped unwrapped

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, February 2010.