Thursday 12 June 2014


Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning.
A  homograph that is also pronounced differently is a  heteronym.

1)  The bandage was wound around the  wound
2) The farm was used to  produce produce
3)  The dump was so full that it had to refuse more  refuse.
4)  We must polish the Polish  furniture
5) He could lead if  he would get the lead out
6) The soldier  decided to desert his dessert in the  desert
7) Since there is no time like  the present, he thought it was time to  present the present
 8)  A bass was painted on the head of the bass  drum
9) When shot at, the dove dove  into the bushes.
10) I did not object  to the object
11)  The insurance was invalid for the  invalid
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row 
13) They were too close  to the door to close it 
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present
15)  A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a  sewer line
16) To help with planting,  the farmer taught his sow to  sow
17) The wind was too  strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing  the tear in the painting I shed a  tear
19) I had to subject  the subject to a series of  tests. 
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let's  face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in  eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in  pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or  French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while  sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are animal organs. We take English for  granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that  quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a  guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. 
And  why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers  don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is  teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2  geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it  seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you  have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of  them, what do you call it? 
If teachers taught, why  didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables,  what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the  English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the  verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play  and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?  Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim  chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a  wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique  lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it  burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on. 
English was  invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the  creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race  at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible,  but when the lights are out, they are invisible. 
PS. -  Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?


Maggie May said...

You are right....... the English language is crazy. However, it keeps every one on their toes!
Maggie x

Nuts in May

ADDY said...

I'd hate to have to learn English as a foreigner. We are so lucky we grow up with it and it sort of comes naturally. I spent 90 minutes yesterday trying to converse with a young woman from Shanghai and although her English was infinitely better than my Mandarin would ever be, it was a job sometimes to understand her, particulalry as she kept pronouncing things the wrong way. After spending about ten minutes listening to her talking about someone called Tan-ya, I realised she was talking about CHINA.

Eddie said...

Absolutely crazy - its a wonder we every managed to make sense of it - like my adoreable grandson is trying to do right now!! . . . take a peek!!

Love ~ Eddie x

Eddie Bluelights said...

oops wrong email - try this!