Homophones and Homonyms


Homophones
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


Ludibrious:
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, September 8, 2009

13 rules to using Apostrophes

Apostrophes


Rule 1. Use the apostrophe with contractions. The apostrophe is always placed at the spot where the letter(s) has been removed.
Examples: don't, isn't
You're right.
She's a great teacher.

Rule 2. Use the apostrophe to show possession. Place the apostrophe before the s to show singular possession.
Examples: one boy's hat
one woman's hat
one actress's hat
one child's hat
Ms. Chang's house
NOTE: Although names ending in s or an s sound are not required to have the second s added in possessive form, it is preferred.
Mr. Jones's golf clubs
Texas's weather
Ms. Straus's daughter
Jose Sanchez's artwork
Dr. Hastings's appointment (name is Hastings)
Mrs. Lees's books (name is Lees)

Rule 3. Use the apostrophe where the noun that should follow is implied.
Example: This was his father's, not his, jacket.


Rule 4. To show plural possession, make the noun plural first. Then immediately use the apostrophe.
Examples: two boys' hats
two women's hats
two actresses' hats
two children's hats
the Changs' house
the Joneses' golf clubs
the Strauses' daughter
the Sanchezes' artwork
the Hastingses' appointment
the Leeses' books

Rule 5. Do not use an apostrophe for the plural of a name.
Examples: We visited the Sanchezes in Los Angeles.
The Changs have two cats and a dog.

Rule 6. With a singular compound noun, show possession with 's at the end of the word.
Example: my mother-in-law's hat

Rule 7. If the compound noun is plural, form the plural first and then
use the apostrophe.
Example: my two brothers-in-law's hats

Rule 8. Use the apostrophe and s after the second name only if two people possess the same item.
Examples: Cesar and Maribel's home is constructed of redwood.
Cesar's and Maribel's job contracts will be renewed
next year.
Indicates separate ownership.
Cesar and Maribel's job contracts will be renewed next year.
Indicates joint ownership of more than one contract.

Rule 9. Never use an apostrophe with possessive pronouns: his, hers, its, theirs, ours, yours, whose. They already show possession so they do not require an apostrophe.

Examples:This book is hers, not yours.
Incorrect: Sincerely your's.

Rule 10. The only time an apostrophe is used for it's is when it is a contraction for it is or it has.
Examples: It's a nice day.
It's your right to refuse the invitation.
It's been great getting to know you.

Rule 11. The plurals for capital letters and numbers used as nouns are not formed with apostrophes.

Examples:She consulted with three M.D.s.
BUT
She went to three M.D.s' offices.
The apostrophe is needed here to show plural possessive.
She learned her ABCs.
the 1990s not the 1990's
the '90s or the mid-'70s not the '90's or the mid-'70's

She learned her times tables for 6s and 7s.
Exception: Use apostrophes with capital letters and numbers when the meaning would be unclear otherwise.
Examples: Please dot your i's.
You don't mean is.
Ted couldn't distinguish between her 6's and 0's.
You don't mean Os.

Rule 12. Use the possessive case in front of a gerund (-ing word).
Examples: Alex's skating was a joy to behold.
This does not stop Joan's inspecting of our facilities
next Thursday.

Rule 13. If the gerund has a pronoun in front of it, use the possessive form
of that pronoun.
Examples: I appreciate your inviting me to dinner.
I appreciated his working with me to resolve the conflict.

7 comments:

Jeez N Jabbz said...

AWESOME! thanx

It's good to go back to school every now and then.

I hope I used correct punctuation.

English Grammar said...

Writing using the old rules or myths might be a bit boring. Thanks for the tips! Keep it up! You have been really helpful

aditya mani said...

great article.
but i think there's a small mistake in rule 7.
Shouldn't it be brothers-in-laws' as opposed to brothers-in-law's?
thanks.

English grammar said...

Homonyms are words which have the same spelling and pronunciation as each other but different meanings and origins.

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English grammar said...

Put quotation marks after a period or comma. Put quotes before a colon. Put quotes after a question mark unless the entire sentence is a question. This is a US English standard. British English usage can differ.