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The wikipedia entry on homonyms contains the following diagram:

enter image description here

In the very center of that image is a category labeled "identical words" which is separate from the rest but is at the intersection of "Same spelling" and "Same meaning". So, apparently there are words that are spelled identically and have the same meaning but are considered separate words.

Am I reading the diagram wrong? If not, can someone explain what these words are and offer an example?

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    I believe it's intended to be the triple intersection of same meaning, same spelling, and same pronunciation. That's all there is. In other words, any word at all (say, uncle) is identical with itself. So the contents of that intersection is any pair of words that mean the same, sound the same, and are spelled the same; e.g, (uncle, uncle). They could have given an example, I spose. But Venn diagrams are only useful for certain lexical relations. – John Lawler Aug 24 '13 at 15:43
  • @terdon: "Identical" is analogous to familial resemblances among biological siblings. Sometimes the commonality might be a certain look ("spelling"--either the same or different); a certain sound of voice or manner of speaking ("pronunciation/sound"--either the same or different); or a certain sex ("meaning"--either the same or different). The identical parts can be traced to common genetic material from mom and dad (regarding, e.g., eye-, hair-, and skin color), but it might be expressed differently (e.g., female with blue eyes; male with brown eyes, etc.). Unity within diversity. – rhetorician Aug 24 '13 at 15:57
  • @JohnLawler yes that is the only thing I could think of, I was just wondering if there weren't some sort of obscure word category that I was unaware of. – terdon Aug 24 '13 at 15:59
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    That is a very cool diagram. I have printed it out and hung it up. – Jim Aug 24 '13 at 18:18
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"I believe it's intended to be the triple intersection of same meaning, same spelling, and same pronunciation. That's all there is. In other words, any word at all (say, uncle) is identical with itself. So the contents of that intersection is any pair of words that mean the same, sound the same, and are spelled the same; e.g, (uncle, uncle). They could have given an example, I spose. But Venn diagrams are only useful for certain lexical relations."John Lawler

  • OK, fair enough. – terdon Aug 24 '13 at 18:36

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