Homonyms and homophones are etymological coincidences with no real rhyme or reason as to how they came about. Technically, homonyms are words that are spelled the same and pronounced the same, yet have different meanings, such as left (a direction) and left (the past tense of leave). Homophones are words that are pronounced the same but have different spellings (such as to, too, and two). Finally, heteronyms have the same spelling but different pronunciation (such as close [to shut] and close [nearby].) All other words are characterized by a different pronunciation and different spelling.
Posts Tagged ‘homophones’
English uses 26 letters: 21 consonants and 5 vowels. We can create jillions of words, such as the word jillion, which is a slang word that means some indefinitely large number. Some words have a single consistent meaning; some have numerous context-specific meanings. For example, the words brain, north, golf, automobile, jury, and woman have pretty consistent meanings wherever they are used. On the other hand, try to figure out the meanings of these words without knowing the context in which they’re used: right, down, space, bridge, state, and branch.