I live on the west coast of Earth’s North America and “been” is pronounced in a way that rhymes with “when”. I’ve always pronounced it in a way that rhymes with “bean”. No, I guess it doesn’t just rhyme, it’s phonetically identical. Huh. Anyways, I did it unconsciously even though my whole family (I’ve since checked) uses the “when”-rhyming spelling.
A co-worker both called my attention to it one day AND offered a completely reasonable explanation when I couldn’t think of why. My given first name is ‘Ben’ (phonetically identical to how most people around me pronounce ‘been’) and the co-worker speculated that perhaps I was unconsciously differentiating between the word any my name by grabbing onto the spelling and e-nun-cia-ting the fuck out of it.
I think… I think that’s right. I had no idea until someone pointed that out.