Monday, September 16, 2013

Truth in Waisted Words

Sometimes you read a misspelled word in an article or story and snicker because it suddenly seems more appropriate than the proper word.

I saw a sign that read:

Your An Idiot. Learn to spell. Insult correctly.

I thought it quite humorous until I was reading another article and saw "Your never wrong if..."  Huh?  What editor let that slip by?  It should have read "You're never wrong if..."  

With today's smaller texting screens and the internet with all its acronyms, it is a wonder our children even have the slightest idea of how to spell anything.  In fact, most kids today would write the following sentence much differently.  You're too funny.  It would be: UR2funny.. In a way, it's ironic -- You're becomes UR.

There are homonyms, homophones and homographs. All the same yet each is different. 

Homonyms:  Same word sound, different meanings.
      Scale:  a) Step on the scale.   b) Scale the wall.
      Fair:  a) Go to the fair.   b) It is a fair deal.

Homophones: Words that sound alike, but spelled differently
     Flour / Flower:  a) Use white flour in the recipe.   b) Roses are a pretty flower.
     Sweet / Suite:  a) Sugar is sweet.   b) The wedding suite is available.

Homographs:  Same spelling but different pronunciation and meaning
     desert:  a) The Mojave Desert is in California.   b) He would desert his friends quickly.
     bow:  a) The bow of the ship.   b) The bow on the present.

Sometimes it can get a little confusing because some words can be in more than one category.  For instance, the word 'present' can be both a homonym and a homograph.
     a)  Here is your birthday present.  (Homonym)
     b)  Today is the present, tomorrow is the future.  (Homonym)
     c)  May I present Mr. Adams?   (Homograph)
     a) The Mojave Desert is in California. (Homograph)
     b) He would desert his friends quickly. (Homograph)
     c) The dessert was delicious. (Homophone)

I feel today's youth are losing the fine lines of the English language and in doing so, losing even more of themselves. I know the English language is transitioning but are we blurring the lines?  I've noticed more ebooks available with improper spelling or usage of words.  One website that is frequented by young writers offers their scribblings and I cringe when I read improper English usage. "Where it like a blouse." "Your the one who nose." Yes, I cringed.

In my attempt to lose weight, I found that sitting around to wait for it to happen, just wasn't going to work. It was over too many years of having kids that I gained all this excess baggage.  Okay, my wife really delivered them, I was just there for moral support.  As the father of four sons, it was my job to make sure there was food on their plates.  My attitude was, I worked to earn the money and 'By George, if you aren't going to eat it, I will.'  That was the beginning of my demise.  I wasn't about to throw food away.  Unfortunately, it didn't go to waste but it did go to my waist.  Now, twenty years later, I'm trying to get rid of it.  Wish me luck.

How many homonyms, homophones and/or homographs did you find in the above true paragraph?

Until next I ramble on...


  1. Bob, I've been told the English language is one of the hardest to learn, and I think for the very reasons you list above, that's true. With texting, the rules of the English language seem to be changing and spelling seems not nearly as important. I wonder where it will all net out in another 10 years?

  2. I had to remove some of the teens from my church from my Facebook friends list. They're great kids, but reading their statuses was making my head implode.