Homophones and Homonyms

are words that sound like another when spoken but have different meanings and use, different spelling and origin.

Homonyms are words that are spelled like another but of a different meaning.
(e.g., bank= a place where you keep money,
bank= the edge of a river.

Words from the first group are the most common misused words in the English language when writing.

Most of the mistakes I see in writing on websites and blogs are words that are used quite often in the English language. Most of them fall into the homophones category. I see a lot of blogs that contain these common mistakes. Needless to say after a while I quit reading the blogs. So this is a reminder to all bloggers READ what you post and look for these common mistakes. I'm sure your readers will be very thankful.

I have been receiving emails with questions about oxymoron, euphemism, metaphor, cliche, palindrome,
anagram, and pleonasm.

The most frequent ones we see on the internet are usually OXYMORON. I know you have received (as all of us have) some ads/emails that say free loan, biggest little, and/or pretty ugly. I get a laugh every time I see these ads.

Well, my dear readers here are the answers to what each of these are.

oxymoron: a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in "cruel kindness"

euphemism: 1. the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt. 2. the expression so substituted: "To pass away" is a euphemism for "to die."

metaphor: a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity, as in "love is a battlefield.

cliche': A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought. For example: "One man’s trash is another man’s treasure."

palindrome: A word, phrase, verse, or sentence that reads the same backward or forward. For example: A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!

anagram: a word, phrase, or sentence formed from another by rearranging its letters: “Angel” is an anagram of “glean.”

pleonasm: 1. the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; redundancy.
2. an instance of this, as free gift or true fact.
3. a redundant word or expression.

A little language humor

A little language humor

Word for the week: arachibutyrophobia

Learn a new word every week to expand your vocabulary.

Almost everyone likes peanut butter but there are some who suffer with arachibutyrophobia

rachibutyrophobia : fear of peanut butter sticking to roof of mouth

I don't think a Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists or a Mental Health Specialists
would ever use this word in front of a patient who has this phobia even if it is the correct word for their fear.

hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia... the fear of long words

Adj.; A subject of jest or mockery – This word describes a person, thing or situation that is likely to be the butt of jokes. Use it when you want to sound justified in poking fun at someone.
erotem: noun; The symbol used in writing known as a question mark...?
Phantomnation: "rare" noun; a perfect example of a ghost word--a word that exists only in a dictionary and has never actually been used.

neologism: noun ; coining of new words, new word or meaning

enormity: noun;heinousness, evilness, wickedness, monstrous, great size

abscond: verb; to run away and hide, depart hurriedly, avoid arrest.

samizdat: noun; clandestine publication of banned literature

anomaly: noun; something different, abnormal, peculiar, or not easily classified; deviation from the normal or common order, or form, or rule; a person who is unusual

obfuscate: verb; To make something obscure or hard to understand. ( Like the tax codes)

quintessence: noun; purest and most perfect form, manifestation, type, or embodiment

Lipogram: noun; A piece of writing that avoids one or more letters of the alphabet. From Greek lipo- (lacking) + gram (something written).]

triskaidekaphobia: noun; Fear of the number 13.

anomalous: adjective; irregular, deviant, abnormal

diatribe: noun; a bitter verbal attack or speech

ennui: noun; mental weariness, boredom

aficionado: noun; devotee of a sport or pastime

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

to, too, and two

to /preposition/ , introduces a noun expression,
what is reached,aproached or touched. What is aimed at, as far as, what is caused or produced.

too /adverb/ to a greater extent than is desirable or permissible, in addition, also, moreover, more than a match for, beyond what is endurable.

two /adjective/ one more than one. A number greater than the number 1, symbol 2.

We are going to the movies.

Wont you come too?

The pain was too much for him to bear.

There were 2 birds in the tree.

I went to the store to buy 2 urns but they were too heavy for me to carry.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Lose and Loose

Lose /verb/ unable to find, be deprived of or cease to have

Loose is a homonym and it can be used as a verb or an adjective.

Loose /adjective/ not tight,free from bounds or restraints.

Loose /verb/ to let go, release

Did you lose your necklace?

It was a loose fitting vest.

Let the dogs loose to track the fox.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Please forgive me!

I don't mean to hurt your feelings but it is one of the things that has been bothering me for some time. The use of the words "a lot". Notice this is two (2) words, not one (1).I have seen these 2 words written as "alot" on so many websites and blogs, even in some mail that I receive(e-mails and snail mail)and it is driving me up the wall. I did notice that people from other countries seem to have grasped this better than our own English speaking citizens. It makes me feel ashamed to think that foreigners can use our language better than the people who are born and raised in America.
So here it is Americans, plain and simple, learn your native language before you start writing.

Please forgive me if I have hurt your feelings, I just had to get that off my mind. Thanks a lot for reading and understanding.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

When to use a or an

This may come as a surprise to some but the rules you are taught in school
don't always apply. Take the word hour, that would sound funny if you said
a hour even though according to the rule, a is what you were taught to use.
An is used when the following word starts with a vowel, a,e,i,o,u.
But an is used not only when the word starts with a vowel, it is also used
with words that sound like they begin with a vowel. So next time say the word out loud to see if it sounds right. An hour, An honest person.
Because they have a silent h they are used with an. Please don't mistake the word an with the word "and" which is a conjunction or connective word.e.g, Jack and Jill, An apple and a pear.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Affect and Effect

Affect: /verb/ move emotionally, to influence

/noun/ result, consequence, bring about, accomplish

These 2 words causes much confusion because,
the word effect can also be used as a verb,
the word affect can also be used as a noun,
but mostly in terms of psychology and psychiatry.

When used in a sentence:

His insult did not affect her.

The movie had a sad affect on her.

What affect did the movie have on you?

His speech will effect the voters.

The movie had some good special effects.

The effect of the hurricane left them homeless.

Heres a tip to help you remember
think of affect= affection.