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Note 146 – What are homophones?

Yesterday I blogged about homographs which are “words with the same spelling but different meanings” and they can sometimes sound different (according to Bernard C Lamb in his book The Queen’s English) e.g. ‘row’ which can rhyme with ‘go’ and also ‘cow’.  Homophones are words which have the same sound but different meanings, e.g. led/lead, so/sew, read/red and row/row (as in ‘lining things up in a row’ and ‘rowing with oars’).  The key thing to remember with homophones is that they sound the same even though they might be spelt differently.  Confused yet?  Here are some examples:

I have red shoes
I read the morning paper

I led a team of people
It was a lead weight

They were sitting in a row
Do you need me to row the boat?

To echo Richard C Lamb’s words “homophones are words which sound alike“.  To remember what a homophone is, a tip he gives is to break the word down into two parts: ‘homo’ meaning ‘alike’ and ‘phone’ which makes you imagine a ‘sound’ or a voice. 

As a writer, you have to be clear which meaning you are using otherwise it could get very confusing to the reader.

This blog forms part of my writing challenge.  My blogs stats tell me that I’ve had 1998 hits since this blog began.  I hope to break through the 2000 barrier today!   Thank you to all of you that are supporting me.

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Until tomorrow…


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Reference list:

Bernard C. Lamb The Queen’s English (2010), UK


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer

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