Hot answers tagged homophones
The word buffalo is interesting because it can be both a singular and a plural noun as well as a verb whose conjugation is the same for both singular and plural subjects, and, when capitalized, the name of a city. Let's replace each instance of buffalo with a different word that acts similarly to the way that instance of buffalo is used and then parse ...
Ball as in 'sphere' comes from Norse 'bǫllr' /bɔlːr/, while ball as in 'dance party' comes from Latin 'ballare', which in turn became 'bal' (French for 'a dance'). Totally different roots, it's just one of those quirks of English having absorbed bits of so many different languages. Edit as requested to provide a bit more detail: 'Ball' meaning 'sphere' ...
This wikipedia entry has a table like yours::
We can explain it in steps: Buffalo buffalo = buffalo from Buffalo buffalo = verb meaning to intimidate English allows relative clauses without overt relative pronouns. So Buffalo buffalo (that) Buffalo buffalo buffalo = buffalo from Buffalo that buffolo from Buffolo intimidate This whole phrase is itself the subject of another instance of the verb ...
I googled for rhyming dictionaries which include (at a minimum) slant rhyme, and came across the site B-Rhymes, which does, indeed, give "salient" as a match for "alien" (but does not, as I guessed, have an entry for pwn).
If your friend wrote "dropped" on the exam he wanted to drop, and the examiner subsequently told him that he should have written something that sounded like "draw up," it seems possible that the examiner was telling your friend that he should have written "drop," rather than "dropped," on the paper. The rationale for the examiner's comment might be that ...
I think the basis for "complimentary drink" is the simple fact that it comes with the "compliments of the house"; the compliment presumably being that one is a valued customer and therefore deserves special treatment in the form of a free drink. Not everyone receives a complimentary drink - except in Vegas ;)
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