Thursday, September 6, 2012

Homo WHATS?

Happy Thursday, everyone!!

Today, I'm going to talk about a topic close to my heart: proper word usage.

We have all heard of homophones, right? No, that's not a gay telephone, it's a term used to describe two words that sound exactly alike but have different meanings.

I'm going to give a few examples. Yay!

peek vs. peak
peek means a quick and typically furtive look.
peak means to reach a highest point, either of a specified value or at a specified time.

Both are pronounced the same but have very different meanings. Here's another few...

days vs. daze
days means a period of twenty-four hours as a unit of time, reckoned from one midnight to the next, corresponding to a rotation of the earth on its axis.
daze means a state of stunned confusion or bewilderment.

rack vs. wrack
rack means a framework, typically with rails, bars, hooks, or pegs, for holding or storing things OR to cause extreme physical or mental pain to; subject to extreme stress.
wrack means a wrecked ship; a shipwreck.
also see: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/wracking-or-racking-your-brain/

patients vs. patience
patients means a person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment.
patience means the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

You can see how misuse of a homophone can really buggar up a story. It makes your prose take on a whole new meaning when you confuse a word. This is why an editor is such an important step in preparing a work for publication. They will ensure your words are used in an appropriate manner. Check those manuscripts for homophones! Don't be afraid of them, learn them all!!

Here's a great site that lists them from A-Z: http://www.homophone.com/index.php

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

2 comments:

  1. Here's one that I find a lot of writers misuse, and it drives me a bit crazy (but I own up to having OGD - Obsessive Grammar Disorder)...

    passed & past

    To me, their differences are obvious, but I'm constantly addressing them when I edit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes, the dreaded look into the past or I passed a test :) True true!!! I have OGD as well. :) Thanks for the comment, Tia :)

      Delete

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