Quote Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
I'm surprised that the words mean roughly the same thing despite being different enough to be Anglicized differently.
That's because they're not that similar. Shao means "a few", or little as in "a little bit". Xiao means "small-the opposite of big". In Chinese their meanings are significantly different and you're in for either a long debate or the more likely "shut up you're an idiot" from native speakers.

Why am I going on? Because when you go to school in China they pound in the lesson and make square holes and round pegs fit.