Hot answers tagged homophones
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 ...
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 ...
'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 ...
Proper nouns can be homonyms, just like any other words. But what is a homonym? According to Merriam-Webster, the primary meaning of homonym is a word that is spelled and pronounced like another word but is different in meaning; the term can also refer to the related concepts of homophones (words that sound the same but differ in meaning or spelling) or ...
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).
The phonetic difference is in an unstressed syllable, and English in general tends to reduce unstressed syllables toward the mid-central schwa sound. In some accents these words are homophones. In others, except is pronounced with a near-close, near-front /ɪ/ or an open-mid front /ɛ/, but in casual or rapid speech, they may be difficult or impossible to ...
Most importantly, diffuse ends in an /s/ defuse ends in a /z/ If you get that straight, there will be no problems.
The English surname, Hoo, has a nice (and old) lineage: Hoo Howe is usually a surname Howe, but many give a surname to offspring. Howe Hoo? (I don't know how BrE pronounces Hugh, but in AmE, it's not "who", it's more like "h+you")
I've seen the term "homophone aphasia" used for this before, I think an eggcorn would be if you spelled the wrong homophone out of ignorance, homophone aphasia being more to do with you consciously knowing the difference and unconsciously making the mistake out of some sort of aging process, ie. "a senior moment".
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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