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

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I or Me

I or me.

I /pronoun/ used by a speaker or writer when referring to him or herself.

Me /pronoun/ an objective case of I, also referring to oneself.

Sometimes the pronoun I or me can be a little confusing.

If we can get a little grammatical here, "I" should be used when it is the subject of the sentence, that is the person doing the verb. "Me" should be used for the object of the sentence either direct or indirect.

A good test as to which one to use is to think which one would be used if the other person were not included in the sentence.

These are the kinds of situations where there could be a problem deciding whether to use I or me.

The situation was awful for Sherry and me. (...was awful for me.)

John and I were out when the fire started. (I was out....)

She asked if she could come out with Mom and me. (...come out with me.)

Mom and I were happy to have her along. (I was happy...)

She thought she'd seen Dad and me at the store. (...she'd seen me.)

My best friend and I are going to the movies tonight. (I am going ...)

Tip: Imagine that the other person or people are not included in the sentence. It should then be obvious whether to use I or me.


lparalysis said...

I understand the concept, but I cannot apply it in a phrase. Can somebody tell me if the following phrase is correct?

"I will ask the nurse to arrange for my partner and I to see the child tomorrow."

Shirley said...

It should read "my partner and me"
Leave out my partner to find the right use. "I will ask the nurse to arrange for ME to see the child tomorrow."

susmita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Talking Bees said...

very nice site, I have an educational site, I learned something from you .

Emmanuel said...

I am impressed by your "quick fix" lesson on improving common grammar mistakes. Sadly, these mistakes are even ubiquitous in advance writing like graduate students' papers.