zero imagination to create another sound???? aauahuahauha
Why was six afraid of seven?
Because seven ate nine.
Sorry, I had to.
Well, languages aren't "created" and then released to the masses. English (and any other language aside from Esparanto/Klingon) evolves organically.
I can assure you that native speakers NEVER confuse "eight" and "ate" in conversation. In fact, I can't think of any homophonic pair of words (blew & blue, gate & gait etc) which is the source of confusion or misunderstanding!
Even words with the same spelling but different definitions like
fine = well, good,
fine = an infringement or penatly fee for doing something wrong
fine = well-ground, as in fine sugar
fine = high-class/quality like, fine wine, fine art, fine dining
The context is always clear of meaning! So...you may deem it as a lack of "creativity" but it sounds quite efficient to me!
Many languages share this facet, and some to far greater degree (like Chinese...)
You can pronounce ate /et/ if that makes you happy ;-)
"et" is an informal way to say (and also spell) "ate".