Monday, September 14, 2009

Heteronyms are words with different meanings and pronunciations that are spelled identically. Say what? You'd think we could change up a letter or two just to avoid confusion, but no, when I say "moped" I might mean a motorized bicycle or I might mean that I felt glum and lazy yesterday.

What I find interesting about heteronyms, however, is that they are common, yet most of us hardly notice them. Context seems to make the pronunciations and definitions clear without a conscious thought:

"Feeling sorry for myself, I moped around all afternoon until I decided to enjoy the sunshine and take my moped for a spin."

Here are some other examples. Thanks to Dani for the e-mail!

  • We must polish the Polish furniture.
  • He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  • The farm was used to produce produce.
  • The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  • The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
  • This was a good time to present the present.
  • A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  • When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  • I did not object to the object.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • The bandage was wound around the wound.
  • There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  • They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
  • To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • After a number of injections my jaw got number.
  • Upon seeing the tear in my clothes I shed a tear.
  • I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

I hope you are content with the content of this post.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What do you call a delinquent who's no longer juvenile? A geriatric delinquent?