Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Hey everyone, Annette here. As many of you already know our dear friend, critique partner and co-hostess of Seriously Write, Ocieanna Fleiss, suffered a cardiac arrest on January 8th. She is doing better (Praise God!), but prayers are still appreciated on her behalf. Dawn and I will be filling in on Wednesdays for a while.

Today let's take a look at homonyms: homophones and homographs. You see these guys everywhere, but just what is the difference?

First, let’s look at some sentences which include these little rascals:

“The captain stood at the ship’s bow and took a bow.”

“I shaped the cookie dough into the shape of a doe.”

“Did you hear him say to bring that plate over here?”

“Do you ever wonder when the dew is due?”

“Could you check the table to see if the check I wrote is still there?”

“If you don’t rein it in during the king’s reign, he’ll have to rain on your parade.”

"There has to be a way to make sure they're wearing their gloves at recess."

“The warrior slung his bow over his shoulder and took a bow.”

“Your best bet with grammar is to study as if you’re a student.”

“Hands on her waist, she told him not to waste her time.”

“Can you think of a phase which would faze you?”

“Ted’s pet deer was very dear to him.”

This is fun. Now I can’t seem to stop. *grin* Homonyms come in two types: homographs and homophones.

Homographs are words that are spelled alike, may have a different sound and do have a different meaning or derivation. Examples are bow (of a ship) and bow (with arrows). Or check/check. Or does (plural of female deer) and does (to do something), etc.

Homophones are words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings or derivations. Examples are faze/phase; dear/deer; to/two/too; your/you’re; do/due/dew, there/their/they're, etc.

Now, go back through my sentences and categorize the homonyms into homographs or homophones. Throughout the week, notice how many times homonyms come up. You'll see them everywhere and often misused, if you're watching.

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