The first part of the elementarie vvhich entreateth chefelie of the right writing of our English tung, set furth by Richard Mulcaster.
Mulcaster, Richard, 1530?-1611.


O is a letter of as great vncertaintie in our tung, as e, is of direction both alone in vowell, and combined in diphthong. The cause is, for that in vowell it soundeth as much vpon the u, which is his cosin, as vpon the ó, which is his naturall, as in còsen, dòsen, mòther, which o, is still naturallie short, and, hósen, frósen, móther, which o, is naturallie lōg. In the diphthōg it soundeth more vpon the, u, then vpon the, o, as in found, wound, cow, sow, bow, how, now, and bów, sów, wróught, oúght, mów, tróugh. Notwithstanding this varietie, yet our custom is so acquainted with the vse thereof, as it wilbe more difficultie to alter a known confusion, then profitable to bring in an vn∣known reformation, in such an argument, where acquaintance Page  116 makes iustice, and vse doth no man wrong. And yet where dif∣ference by note shall seme to be necessarie the titles of propor∣tion & distinctiō will not omit the help. In the mean time thus much is to be noted of o: besides his time long and short, besides his tune with or without the qualifying e, sharp or flat, that when it is the last letter in the word, it soundeth sharp and loud, as agó, tó, só, nó. saue in the preposition, twò the numerall, the verb: his compounds as. vndò, his deriuatiues as dòing. In the midle syllabs, for tune, it is sharp, as here, or flat if a consonant end the syllab after o. For time the polysyl∣lab will bewraie it self in our dailie pronouncing: considering tho children and learners be ignorant, yet he is a verie simple teacher, that knoweth not the tuning of our ordinarie words, yea, tho theie be enfranchised, as ignorant, impudent, impotent. O varieth the sound in the same proportion, naie oftimes in the same letters, as lòue, glòue, dòue, shòue, remòue, and lóue, gróue, shróue, nóue. This duble sound of o, in the vowell is Latinish, where o, and u, be great cosens, as in voltus, voltis, colo. And vultus, vultis, occulo: in the diphthong it is Grekish, for theie sound their 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, still vpon the u, tho it be contract of oo, or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, wherein as their president is our warrant against obie∣ction in these, so must acquaintance be the mean to discern the duble force of this letter, where we finde it, and he that will learn our tung, must learn the writing of it to, being no more strange then other tungs be euen in the writing.