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I’m ranting about Homonyms over at the Soul Mate Publishing Author’s blog today. To see that post click here. Otherwise, park yourself on the internet parkway for a few minutes and enjoy a complimentary homonym sidebar and a tale filled with homonym gems right here on my blog.

In case you don’t know what a homonym is, here’s a brief description.

Homonyms are two or more words that share the same spelling, or the same pronunciation, or both, but have different meanings.

There are three sets of homonyms that people get confused about. They are:

  • Homophones, which are words that sound alike and have different meanings. Some examples are aloud and allowed, fair and fare, loot and lute, maid and made, write and right, do, dew and due.
  • Heteronyms, which are words that have the same spelling as another word but with a different pronunciation and meaning, such as: lead (the mineral) and lead (to guide), does (the verb) and does (two doe), wound (an injury) and wound (to wrap), produce (the verb) and produce (what you get from a farm), desert (to abandon) and desert (arid region) tear (to rip) and tear (cry), minute ( 60 seconds) and minute (tiny), moped (sad) and moped (a motorcycle).
  • Homographs, which are homonyms that share the same spelling, but not the same meanings. You can park the car in the park, rock the baby while listening to rock music, watch the ocean wave wave at you, and have a row with your canoe mate as you row down the river with leaving your mate behind.

Ever one to take something to the next level, I decided to concoct a short paragraph filled with homonyms. How many can you find? The answer is below, so don’t peek.

The King, heir to the throne of Titan, tightened his grip on my hand, as we were thrown side to side on the bow of the ship as we departed for the isle of Ann for our bridal tour. During the outdoor wedding, the King of Titan asked that after I bow to him I wave in the air as I proceeded down the aisle to marry him at the altar and alter my name to Queen Mary. A strong breeze blew in from the coast and took the hem of my blue wedding dress to heights that distressed him. As he dressed me down for not securing it better, I fingered my brooch and tried to decide if I should broach the subject of his inconsiderateness. After all, I do not control the wind any better than he controls the manipulations his mother tries to wind around him. Tonight, at the Captain’s table we will drink ale, eat bread and boar, and I will sit next to the man I’m beginning to see as the most ill- bred boor our county has ever known. If it rains, and I ail because a sea wave causes the ship to roil and toss the royal wedding party about, he will probably find fault with that, too. The kernel of doubt about this relationship, that my uncle Colonel Frisk warned me of, may indeed be true. After today’s outburst, I fear the King may be trying to bridle me like his favorite stallion. As we set anchors aweigh and sails at full mast to travel away from our kingdom by the sea, and set sail for ports afar to see the wonders of the world, I fear my joyful reign as Queen may be a short-lived one.

How many homonyms did you catch?

There are 36 homonyms by my count. A couple are a bit on the stretched side, because I had to make the story work. The homonyms are:

Throne/thrown, Titan /tightened, bow/bow, bridal/bridle, wave/wave, marry/Mary, altar/alter, blue/blew, him/hem, dress/dressed, wind/wind, ale/ail, bred/bread, bore/boor, kernel/Colonel, aweigh/away, see/sea, rain/reign

Do you have a particular homonym that stumps you?