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

Friday, September 11, 2009

Proved vs Proven

“Proved" or "proven" is another one of those sets of words journalists, writers and speakers mix up constantly. While the use or should I say the misuse of these two words will not greatly affect the lives of most people, it's the responsibility of aspiring writers and professional writers, however, to know the difference.

Understand that both "proved and proven" are noted by some dictionaries as past participles of "prove."
Professional writers take a more particular view of the use of these words. But you can use whichever word sounds and works the best for you, Just be sure to use "proven" for the adjectives.

Example: "She used a proven method."

Know that "proved" is the current choice for the past participle of the verb "prove."
An example: The child has proved his strengths in numbers.

You may notice that journalist use "proven" as an adjective in journalism always.
"Proven" is not used as a past participle in journalism.

Apply the rules for predicate adjective in a linking verb construction as well by using "proven." Use "proven" as an adjective that modifies another word as in the following example: The child's ability to add has been proven. "Proven" modifies "ability;" it is not a part of the verb.

Be a careful writer when using "proved" and/or "proven" if you are a journalist where rules reign. But for most of us, we can use either word as a past participle if it applies. But remember to use "proven" as the adjective in all cases, just to be on the safe side.


Anonymous said...

The English language does not have rules, rather, it has conventions. These conventions change over time, and there are several language registers that depend on the target audience, as well. There is nothing more shallow than the fictional intellect of an academic grammarian.

Anonymous said...

Nonetheless, where such conventions prevail it is good form to follow them, or at the very least when style calls for flouting such rules, one ought to know one is doing so and to do it by intention and not by ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and "over time" is always a redundant 'padding term' used by people who can't think of something better to say. Hopefully it will soon (over time) fall into disuse!

Anonymous said...

"Proven" is perfectly correct as the past participle. "Proved" is more common in British English, but that does not make it "the current choice," but rather the British choice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I found this helpful.

Anonymous said...

Your grammar is awful. Learn to use periods, and then you may move to discussing the use and misuse of participles.

msaireater said...

An easy test: I have proved that my methods are proven.

msaireater said...

An easy test: I have proved that my methods are proven.

msaireater said...

An easy test: I have proved that my methods are proven.

Anonymous said...

I agree!

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