This word—used to mean an elementary textbook, not a painting material—annoys me to no end. Does anyone know why, exactly, "primer" is pronounced with a short "i" sound? I don't know why, call it intuition, but I can't see why this word isn't spelled "primmer." Are there any particular etymological reasons for this spelling/pronunciation combination?
EDIT: Apparently this situation is only recognizable to American English speakers. I've only ever heard it pronounced with a short "i," but this seems to be completely unheard of to British English speakers.