I take it you already know of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Some may stumble, but not you, on hiccough, thorough, slough, and through?
So now you are ready, perhaps, to learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word, that looks like beard, but sounds like bird.
And dead, it’s said like bed, not bead; for goodness’ sake, don’t call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat. (They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.)
A moth is not a moth in mother, nor both in bother, broth in brother.
And here is not a match for there, nor dear and fear, for bear and pear.
And then there’s dose and rose and lose – just look them up – and goose and choose
And cork and work and card and ward and font and front and word and sword
And do and go, then thwart and cart, come, come! I’ve hardly made a start.
A dreadful language? Why man alive! I’ve learned to talk it when I was five.
And yet to write it, the more I tried, I hadn’t learned it at fifty-five.
– Author Unknown (borrowed from an essay on linguistics)