Say What??


Words. We use them on a daily basis to communicate with each other, explain ourselves, and chat with our animals. Also they’re very important to writers. You are reading this article now because it’s a free flowing gathering of words that make sense when written in a certain sequence.
Other times they make no sense at all.
But, words are not always simple things. Especially in the English language. Consider the homograph. That’s the College vocabulary-approved word for two words that are spelled in exactly the same way, but mean completely different things. (It has two buddies, the homophone, words that sound alike when spoken but are spelled differently; and the umbrella term for both the other words, homonym. As if the English language wasn’t tough enough…)
As a writer, I’m really interested in words that are identical in spelling but different in meaning. I worry my readers may not understand my stories sometimes...
Here are some examples:
The word bat strikes fear in people imagining a flying rodent with fangs that turns into a vampire and… well, that’s for the Paranormal novel. But, it also is something that kids and adults have been using forever in baseball and cricket. That’ll be in the Contemporary story.
Let’s go to the fair. Sounds perfectly normal, right? But is it really fair to not ride on all the rides?
Did you hear about the runner that came in second? He lost the race by one second.
There are a lot of people that just lie around the house all day eating nachos and soda. If people deny it, they are telling a lie.
Give me a minute and I’ll show you the minute amount of money in my checking account.
The word fine fits even more things. You can describe something like art as fine. Or you could talk about a very fine line. The scariest is when your wife says things are “fine”. That one sends shivers down my spine.
The wind can rustle the leaves, and people can wind you up.
Lawyers object if someone tries to present evidence. Like a hatchet, which is an object.
As kids, we were always trying to get the spelling of words right. I still have problems with spelling, and if Microsoft didn’t highlight all my misspellings my articles could be urined… I mean ruined.
The meanings of the words we say are just as important. It’s just kind of humorous that there are so many words with double meanings. I pity people trying to teach English to non-native speakers. They have to explain this all the time and not pull their hair out.

Read the entire article in the April 2021 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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