Heteronyms and homographs prove that you can lead a horse to a can of water, but you can’t make him use a lead pencil

It must be difficult to moderate even the moderate portions of the English language.

The language is tricky to read because words often have different meanings and sounds between the first and second times they are read. This tends to make even some of our most distinguished words difficult to distinguish. Often, the buffet of pronunciations buffets and torments me.

If reading content makes you content, then you should know that homographs are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings, while heteronyms are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings and pronunciations.

I was thinking about this while studying my profile in the mirror today for a minute, so I decided to profile a few of these words in a short (some might even say minute) story. I have yet to perfect my writing skills so that I can write the perfect story, though, so I hope that my subject matter here does not subject you to boredom. Continue reading “Heteronyms and homographs prove that you can lead a horse to a can of water, but you can’t make him use a lead pencil”

If we had a holiday to celebrate punctuation marks, would it be Apostrophe’s Day or Apostrophes Day?

Holidays can be very enjoyable, but they can also be extremely confusing.

It’s wonderful to honor parents, heroes, fools and plenty of other people with these special days, but the lack of clarity about how to spell the names and whether or not to use apostrophes drives me crazy. Continue reading “If we had a holiday to celebrate punctuation marks, would it be Apostrophe’s Day or Apostrophes Day?”

If Every Kiss Begins With K, then should Every Book Begin With Boo? Important questions and comments about the jewelry commercial

Around this time of year, we often hear the Kay Jewelers slogan, “Every Kiss Begins With K” which is either a clever wordplay or a scourge on our senses that is repeated over and over on the television, radio and internet while driving everyone crazy.

I have spent way too much time thinking about the slogan, and have come up with several salient and/or stupid points. Continue reading “If Every Kiss Begins With K, then should Every Book Begin With Boo? Important questions and comments about the jewelry commercial”

You can take your take anywhere, but you can’t take it here

While many people take the word “take” for granted, it is a surprisingly complex and confusing word that requires you to take great care.

For example, did you know that take is both a verb and a noun?

Did you also know that people constantly are using the word incorrectly?

And finally, can you believe that most people don’t thank me when I correct them?

All in all, these discussions require a lot of give-and-take, so I will give you my take on take. Continue reading “You can take your take anywhere, but you can’t take it here”

Triple word compound words may be confusing, nonetheless, they should be used more nowadays

What’s better than an ordinary compound word?

Well, I can easily think of hundreds of items, but for this column the answer is compound words that are made up of three words.

Heretofore you may not have thought much about these words, nevertheless I will explain my love for them inasmuch as possible so that whosoever reads this will also love these words forevermore.

Continue reading “Triple word compound words may be confusing, nonetheless, they should be used more nowadays”