Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada
But how come the plural of thief isn't thiefs (instead of thieves), to distinguish it from the verb, (he, she, it) thieves? How come the plural of wife isn't wifes to distinguish it from the verb (he, she, it) wives? Lifes, to distinguish it in spelling from (he, she it) lives? This seems to be the only Native English noun with f in singular that doesn't have v in plural. I make the distinction of "Native" because words from different languages (such as chief, grief, etc) came into the language artificially, and therefore may not follow the evolutionary "rules" as native words that were here from earliest beginnings of the english language, such as thief and belief.
"when thinking of F and V, the simple word "of" has a V sound."
That's because of is an "unstressed" form of the word off. Unstressed often seems to result in voicing letters, such as f to voiced f (v) and s to voiced s (z).
"No wonder people say English is the hardest language to learn."
I think that's usually people that never studied other languages. Many other languages also have similar kinds of sound changes, but they also have many many more inflections and conjugations to remember as well. So some would argue that English is actually one of the easiest, if not indeed the easiest of all languages to learn.
[This message has been edited by Essorant (02-24-2007 11:48 AM).]