Homophone to Homonym : Dessert, Desert, Desert

The English language is a minefield where spelling and pronunciation are concerned. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most difficult languages to learn. We have words that are spelt the same or pronounced the same but have different meanings (homonym) and words that are spelt differently but pronounced the same and have different meanings…… Continue reading Homophone to Homonym : Dessert, Desert, Desert

Homophones: Sound-Alike Words – Whose and Who’s

Who’s versus Whose? Homophones are sound-alike words. They are spelt differently but sound the same. Each word has a distinct meaning. If in doubt consult your dictionary or style book. A good proofreader will pick up mistakes such as these but it’s best to get it right in the first place. So, when do you use who’s and when…… Continue reading Homophones: Sound-Alike Words – Whose and Who’s

Toponyms

Well, I learnt a new word today: ‘toponym’. Definitions The dictionary defines it thus: noun: a place name, especially one derived from a topographical feature. Its origins are from the Greek topos ‘place’ + -onym ‘name’. Wikipedia defines toponymy as the study of place names (toponyms), their origins, meanings, use, and typology. The word can refer to a non-specific feature, such as lover’s leap (or lovers’ leap or…… Continue reading Toponyms

Finger sandwiches and baby oil – the strangeness of the English language

The English language is a strange affair at times. Meaning is usually gathered from the words we use in the literal sense; the words and the order they are placed in a sentence tell you what the sentence as a whole means. But we don’t talk and write literally, neither do we hear or read,…… Continue reading Finger sandwiches and baby oil – the strangeness of the English language

Oronyms: Egg Samples to Help you Real Eyes the Meaning of the Word

Here’s a fun one. While researching the meanings of homophones, homonyms, homographs and such, I came across the word oronym. Until I discovered it I had no idea there was such a name for a concept I was more than familiar with. Given the way the English language is structured and spoken, it should have…… Continue reading Oronyms: Egg Samples to Help you Real Eyes the Meaning of the Word

Homophones: Sound-Alike Words

Homophones are words that sound alike but don’t necessarily have similar meanings; they could have totally different definitions. However, there are some that not only sound alike but also have similar meanings. That’s what I want to tackle here. Sound-alike words with similar meanings Do you ever wonder whether to use one word over another…… Continue reading Homophones: Sound-Alike Words

Active Voice or Passive Voice? What’s the Difference?

What is meant by Active or Passive voice? Active voice is clear and direct. It stamps out what is happening in a dynamic way. It tells you who or what is doing the action (subject) and who or what they are doing it to (object). Passive voice can be clear as to what is happening…… Continue reading Active Voice or Passive Voice? What’s the Difference?

The Meanings of Words – Synecdoche

Synecdoche. What a wonderful word! Someone mentioned the film, ‘Synecdoche, New York’ to me the other day. I’d never heard of it. I’d never heard the word synecdoche either so (as it was such a tantalising word) I decided to look it up – of course. That’s what we writers and readers do because we want to extend…… Continue reading The Meanings of Words – Synecdoche