I found this on Informed Consent, of all places:
“The Great Vowel Shift was a major change in the pronunciation of the English language that took place in England between 1350 and 1500.
Because English spelling was becoming standardised in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Great Vowel Shift is responsible for many of the peculiarities of English spelling.”
For example, the ‘o’ was pronounced as ‘u’, as in London and Constable. It became the way that Americans still pronounce it, making the difference between, for example, how we spell ‘kebab’ and they spell it ‘kebob’. They still pronounce the letter as it used to be.
What actually annoys me about spelling nowadays is that we seem to be going backwards, whereas our language has always been going forward.
We call our mothers ‘Mum’ because that’s the way it has become and it irks me when I see it written as ‘Mom’. That’s an American spelling. I’m not American, therefore I will continue to spell it as ‘Mum’ and I wish others would do the same. You don’t buy cards from Hallmark that say ‘Mom’, so why write it with an ‘o’?
I blame the internet. You have to blame something.
ETA: the word is pronunciation, not pronounciation *shudder*