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, July 15, 2012

Tip for using a Prefix meaning "Not"

Here is an easy way to remember how to use
the prefixes: in-, il-, ir-, im-

Another prefix meaning "not" or "the opposite of".

However using a prefix often changes to match the
first letter of the base word. This sometimes
results in a double letter.

So, if we want to say the opposite of legal we say
"illegal" instead of "inlegal".

The pattern is like this:
*Use il- before words starting with l.
So not legible = illegible.

*Use ir- before words starting with r.
So not relevant = irrelevant

*Use im- before words starting with m but also in front
of words starting with p.

So: not mature = immature not perfect = imperfect.


Roger said...

I was amused to see a grammatical error in a blog devoted to English grammar. Your sentence “I see a lot of blogs that contain these common mistakes“ contains a common mistake. You used the words “a lot” when you should have used the word “many” or “numerous”. A “lot” is a piece of land or a group of items for sale at an auction; however, “a lot” is not a quantity of objects or number of occurrences. So please remember to read what you post and watch for common grammatical errors.

Roger said...

Perhaps you should hire an editor. You wrote the following: “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.” You should have written it like this: anomaly: noun; something different, abnormal, peculiar, or not easily classified; deviation from the normal or common order, form or rule; a person who is unusual.

Roger said...

This is getting absurd.

In your “Proved vs Proven” post you wrote:
“You may notice that journalist use”...

You should have written:
You may notice that journalists use...

In your “Among or Between” post you wrote:
"There was many disagreements between Mary, Mark and John."

You should have written:
There were many disagreements between Mary, Mark and John.

Roger said...

More errors:

“I don't think a Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists or a Mental Health Specialists
would ever use this word”...

Should be:

I don't think a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist or a mental health specialist
would ever use this word...

Or could be:

I don't think psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists or mental health specialists
would ever use this word...

I am no longer amused.

paulsmith198914@gmail.com said...

I write my paper in Computational biology and therefore find this information very helpful. My professor won't accept the paper with multiple grammar mistakes in the work.

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Anonymous said...

To Roger
The meaning of a lot depends on the context. Usually, it means “many” or “to a great extent.”


a large number or amount; a great deal.

"there are a lot of actors in the cast"

adverb: lot; adverb: lots

a great deal; much.

"my life is a lot better now"

noun: lot; plural noun: lots

a particular group, collection, or set of people or things.

"it's just one lot of rich people stealing from another"

a group or a person of a particular kind (generally used in
a derogatory or a dismissive way).

"an inefficient lot, our town council"

an article or set of articles for sale at an auction.

"nineteen lots failed to sell"

a plot of land assigned for sale or for a particular use.
"a vacant lot"

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