nicodegallo saidPlus the vowel system in English is ultra complex throughout the English-speaking world. It's virtually impossible to create a phonetic spelling system that would work for all the different varities of English. It's not like favourite makes any more sense than favorite and vice versa in terms of knowing how to pronounce the word.
Proper english isnt' difficult if you interact with people who know how to use it. I can't understand why americans strive to pronounce every letter in every word, they don't really seem to grasp the concept of silent letters ...it drives me crazy to hear people pronounce the "T" in often, the "W" in sword, etc.
And what exactly is 'proper english'?
Not to be needlessly contrary, but with such a wide abundance of dialects across the English spectrum, it's really a ridiculous notion to assert that there's a 'proper' way to say any English word out of that dialectal context; the same applies to grammar, to some extent.
This is especially the case when what is considered to be normative English pronunciation has the annoying habit of shifting every few decades. The accepted American 'standard' of today (essentially central midwest), for example, is not the same as it was fifty years ago (northeast/eastern cities).
Also, historically, the 'w' in 'sword' was, indeed, pronounced; 'sword' is an ancient word that has roots far before the appearance of even Old English (see Frisian, proto/Indo-European, etc.) Notably, the shift from Middle English to Early Modern English saw the loss of a great number of previously voiced phonemes, such as the case with 'Knight,' which was historically pronounced something like 'kniht' or 'cniht'/'cneht'.
In short, pronunciation shifts, often. It's also very regional, and every region has its own quirks. Notably, people who aren't familiar with certain words tend to see a word in writing and pronounce it in what seems a natural way for their dialect, especially if the word's pronunciation is not intuitive (as is often the case with English). Hence you get situations where the 'w' in 'sword' is pronounced (there is a linguistic process for this, the name of which I can't remember just this moment).
And yes, some people are not familiar with the word 'sword', but that's a monster for a different thread.