Homonyms with Harmony, Part 1–Introduction

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Hi SErs! It’s a day of Harmony here at Story Empire 🙂 Today, I’d like to start a new series of posts on Homonyms to share with you.

Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs:

Words that fall under any of these three categories often confuse readers and writers alike. So, what are they?

HOMONYMS are two or more words that have the same sound or spelling but differ in meaning, such as Wave and Waive.

HOMOPHONES are two or more words, such as Knew and New, which we pronounce the same but that differ in meaning, origin, and–often–spelling.

HOMOGRAPHS are words which we spell the same, but which differ in origin, meaning, and–sometimes–pronunciation, such as the verb Bear (to carry or endure) and the noun Bear (the animal).

BRITISH ENGLISH VERSUS AMERICAN ENGLISH: To add to the fun … erm, confusion! … we Brits and Americans (as well as other English-speaking nations) love to spell the same words differently. So, to attempt to keep these posts coherent for us all, my next post will look at the differences between the two most common ones, British and American. And in each subsequent post on specific Homonyms, I will endeavour to note any differences between these two nations’ way of doing things.

DIALECT: The other major confusing factor on word pronunciation is regional dialect. One word I am familiar with which offers a wonderful example of this is ‘Due‘. I pronounce this as in ‘Dew/Jew‘ but have heard it said as in ‘Do‘ as well. This is way too broad a topic, with way too many variations in speech, for me to address in this series of posts. So, if you read a set of words and think something like, ‘Well, they don’t sound the same at all!’, then please bear with me (and not the kind with teeth and claws!) 😂. The simple explanation will come down to a variation in dialect and accent, I’m sure. However, where I’ve seen this kind of word misused frequently, I will give it a mention, even though it might not–technically–fall within any of these three categories. For example, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read in a book, Pay your dos instead of Pay your dues. … You get the idea 😊

That’s it from me today. I hope you’ve found this post useful, and I’ll see you again on Wednesday 26th April for Homonyms with Harmony, Part 2–American and British English Conventions 🙂

Bio Box for Harmony Kent that links to her website www.harmonykent.co.uk

©2023 Harmony Kent

90 thoughts on “Homonyms with Harmony, Part 1–Introduction

  1. Pingback: Homonyms with Harmony, Part 3–The Origins of Homonyms | Story Empire

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  3. Pingback: Homonyms with Harmony, Part 2–American and British English Conventions | Story Empire

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  5. There are definitely problems with American and British English. I often find this in my critique group, so now I always mention that I’m a Brit and speak and write in British English.
    I’m sure you will mention these, but I’m tired of seeing ‘a sneak peak,’ and ‘it wetted his appetite.’ The former gives me a picture of a mountain trying to hide behind others.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Looking forward to this discussion. This whole subject is one that fascinates. I always pause on the word tear. Is it from the eye or rending things asunder? Why are they spelled the same? Who started this anyway? Why did the colonist rebels start messing with the spelling of words? Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks, Harmony.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is going to be a fun series, Harmony. Words fascinate me. As I’m working with my grandchildren on their spelling homework, I’m often amazed at how many words sound the same when you say them aloud. So, I’ve learned to use them in a sentence to help them figure out which spelling of the word applies. Thank you for sharing. I love this!

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  8. This will be fun, Harmony. The British and American spelling differences are challenging for me partly because for some words, I like the British spelling better! “Eying” just looks weird to me (American). I like “eyeing” a lot better (British). And “leapt” (British) is how I pronounce “leaped” (American), so I prefer the British spelling since the sound reflects the way I say it. I hate the word “leaped” and refuse to use it! All my characters “spring, bound, jump, hop, and vault.” Lol. I’m looking forward to the series of posts. 🙂

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  9. I’m looking forward to this series, Harmony, especially the Brit/American differences. It sounds like a lot of fun.

    And am I missing something? I pronounce “do” and “due” exactly the same (like “dew”).

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  10. Harmony, this will be fun to explore with you, for shore! (Oh, I’m kidding, it’s for “sure” but some folks say it and it sounds like that place with the sand and ocean, right?) There are so many regional.accents both in the US and UK that things could get mind boggling. Thanks for tackling those s for us!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. This is going to be a fun (and informative) series. I say dues like you do (except with my Texas accent). I’ve paid dues, but never dos. 🙂 Two words that come to mind with different pronunciation is data. Some say it with a short a, others with a long a. People say Caribbean differently as well. This past weekend, we went through a small Texas town named Bogota. Folks pronounce it with the accent on the middle o, while the Colombian city is more like bo ga tah.

    By the way, I love the title of the post.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. What a great series, Harmony. I suspect English is one of the most complicated languages in the world, because of your topic. We tear at heart-wrenching situations, and we wrench a letter from another’s hand and tear it up. Of course, we might hit it with a wrench as well. Craziness, right? I’m looking forward to your posts. This will be a fun adventure!! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Pingback: Homonyms with Harmony, Part 1–Introduction | Legends of Windemere

  14. I find myself spelling words that sound the name but are spelled differently wrong even when I know better, and I have to go back and edit. This usually happens more in social media posts than anywhere else. And the older I get the more it seems to happen. I’m just happy I’m able to edit my posts. However, when I first started writing and sometimes now in drafts I have a hard time with bare (no clothing) and bear (endure). I want to use bare(ly) for “endure” because I know that bear means animal. This sounds interesting and helpful. I look forward to it.

    Liked by 3 people

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