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17

Homonym. In linguistics, a homonym is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings. Thus homonyms are simultaneously homographs (words that share the same spelling, irrespective of their pronunciation) and homophones (words that share the same pronunciation, irrespective ...


15

According to the OED, bye is correct word. b. The position of an individual, who, in consequence of the numbers being odd, is left without a competitor after the rest have been drawn in pairs. (OED also points out a few other uses of bye in sports, but with different meanings.) And while it specifically doesn't clarify whether the competitor ...


14

The answer is simple. You just need to think about how you learned your native language. By ear. Children learn how to speak their native tongue first, and only then learned the grammar and spelling. Thus, many will "sound" a word out to spell it. English language learners, on the other hand, usually learned how to spell a word first, and focused on ...


11

Defuse the situation is the more sensible of the two: It employs the metaphor that the situation is a bomb, and may explode. Defusing it will render it harmless. Diffusing a situation would mean to spread it out and make it less concentrated. You can make a case that the intensity of the situation needs diffusion to make it less dangerous, but I believe ...


10

I have never seen it written phantasy much, except in medical texts. The NOAD seems to confirm this: phantasy (noun): variant spelling of fantasy (restricted to archaic uses or, in modern use, to the fields of psychology and psychiatry).


10

Remove the modal verb (would, could, should, etc.) from the sentence, and see if it still makes sense. I would have won. -> I have won. (works!) *I would of won. -> I of won. (nope, that's not right...) You can be sure that if the sentence is supposed to have have, then you can always remove the modal.


10

The real difference between these pronunciations is that use (the noun) is pronounced with an /s/ and use (the verb) is pronounced with an /z/ (except in the construction used to). In American English, vowels that are followed by a voiced consonant are longer than those followed by an unvoiced consonant (see this wikipedia page), and this is the source of ...


7

The word is eggcorn a word or phrase that results from a mishearing or misinterpretation of another, an element of the original being substituted for one which sounds very similar. We even have an eggcorn tag.


6

Your is almost universally used these days for you're. This is simply not true. A quick glance through newspapers, magazines, websites and other particularly current writing, finds many instances of you're. It is true that your is sometimes written when one means you're. A large number of these are mistakes rather than the result of ignorance or ...


6

Since a homophone is defined as: Each of two or more words having the same pronunciation but different meanings, origins, or spelling, e.g., new and knew. I guess that means that may ("allowed to"), May (the month), and Mae (the female name) are homophones.


5

The words flour and flower do not only have the same root, but they were also spelled the same until around 1830. (See etymonline.) Not only did Shakespeare rhyme hour with flower, but he also sometimes spelled them the same. It fears not policy that Hereticke, Which works on leases of short numbred howers, But all alone stands hugely pollitick, ...


5

For most English dialects, there is no difference in pronunciation between rowed and rode, and so there would be no "way to pronounce these words unambiguously so a discerning listener could tell them apart."


5

First of all, it helps to enclose the phrase in quotes when googling: "bear the shame" — 607,000 "bare the shame" — 83,400 Secondly, having looked through the first 10 pages of the Google results for "bare the shame", exposing would not work in most of those contexts at all, it's quite obviously carrying. And quite a few of those contexts feature ...


5

'Defuse is a verb, which means 'to remove the fuse'. But it is often used figuratively, such as in 'UN forces were sent in to help defuse the tensions between the warring parties'. 'Diffuse, is also a verb, meaning to 'spread over a wide area, or among a larger number of people' such as 'the problem is how to diffuse power without creating anarchy'. But ...


5

According to OED, the word defuse is coined in 1943, by combining de- and fuse(v.) (which is invented in 1680s as a back-formation from fusion, a noun came from Middle French fusion, from Latin fusionem), while the verb form of diffuse is coined in 1520s from Latin diffusus, past participle of diffundere "to pour out or away". Despite the similarities in ...


4

I think that the same goes for all languages. Native speakers that do not take the time to learn their own language properly, or that do not read much, tend to misspell homophones. In French, for instance, many people will replace infinitive form (« manger », to eat) with past participle (« mangé », eaten), or confuse « ses » and « ces » (his,her vs these). ...


4

The OED notes that  fantasy and phantasy are usually considered separate words in modern use: In mod. use  fantasy and phantasy, in spite of their identity in sound and in ultimate etymology, tend to be apprehended as separate words, the predominant sense of the former being ‘caprice, whim, fanciful invention’, while that of the latter is ‘imagination, ...


4

I don't know about regional or dialect changes, but "use" has only one pronunciation for what concerns the "vowel" sound in it. The last consonant sound changes, being [s] and [z]. It's [juːs] when it's a noun and [juːz] when it's a verb, becoming [ju:st] when we have the construction "used t-o".


4

In my local dialect (Toronto, Canada), it is root for a roadway, and rowt (but that's very approximate; see Canadian raising ) for the act of specifying a path (and rowter for the computer networking device)


3

In standard US English they are pronounced the same. I've heard Southerners pronounce "hear" as two syllables with the "r" silent, as in, "Y'all come back now, yuh he-ah." I'm surprised by Sean's statement of Kentuckians pronouncing "here" as two syllables but "hear" as one, because, as I say, the only dialect I've ever heard had it the other way around. ...


3

It's a question of dialects. In the UK, it is pronounced as a homonym to root, as already been addressed. In America, it seems that those that pronounce it as a homonym to root are more concentrated on the east coast. Source: http://dialect.redlog.net/staticmaps/q_26.html


3

Sometimes I wonder how often this mistake is made out of carelessness, versus ignorance. I'm well-versed in the difference betweent the two, yet I've still made the gaffe on occasion. Due to the homophoneous nature of the words, the mistake is easily made while typing, and particularly easy to miss while proofreading, too.


3

The confusion is that in many UK (and probably US) schools the difference is not taught. The use of the apostrophe is considered by many to be totally confusing and so it is omitted in many places where it is required. There is a name for the addition of extra apostrophes in places where they are not needed. These are "Grocers' Apostrophes" which refers ...


3

"All together" means everyone or everything together. Where "altogether" is an adverb and means "all in all," "all told," or "completely." Examples: It's time to sing. All together now! That was altogether too difficult. Source: e Learn English Language References: e Learn English Language Education Bug LEO Network


2

Well, "of" should never ordinarily come before a verb, or any part of a verb. If it does in one of your sentences, it should almost certainly be "have" instead. The closest you legitimately get is something like "I'm tired of running"; I believe "running" there is what's called a gerund, that is to say a noun derived from a verb. But it's always "I should ...


2

I presume you are talking about the preposition at the end on the sentence? In response I quote Winston Churchill: This is the sort of pedantry, up with which I will not put. But seriously, the idea that prepositions cannot occur at the end of a sentence comes straight from an era when grammarians tried to force English into Latin grammar (where you ...


2

Speaking as an Australian, I know that down here, there is a slight difference. Pardon me, I don't know how to use those symbols to depict pronunciation, but I'll try my best to describe the difference. The "o" in "rode" is slightly shorter. The "o" in "rowed" is slightly longer and more "rounded". That's the best expression I could come up with, ...


2

Dictionaries have long had to contend with this issue. The word run, for example, has 50 or so meanings as a verb, and another 30 or so as a noun, but they all are grouped under one single dictionary entry. On the other hand, bow has three separate entries. Most print dictionaries denote this using superscripted numerals for each separate entry, much like ...


1

Words that sound the same but have different meanings are called homophones. Homophones can be either homonyms if and only they are spelled the same (e.g. tire - like the thing you put on a car or tire as a verb meaning fatigued) heteronyms if they just sound alike, such as your example. Etymologically, they are usually unrelated (bazaar is Arabic, for ...


1

Route as in Route66 is pronounced root. A Router puts packets on a route and so is pronounced the same as the road, ie rooter. A rout is a disorderly retreat. And a router does the same to wood chips, so is pronounced rowter



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