This Won’s Four Yew, Dad

And yew two Brian.

As you may have guessed, one of the most common mistakes I need to correct in revision is homonyms, or more accurately homophones.

As some quick Wikipedia research points out, homophones are two words that sound the same, and homographs are two words that are spelled the same.

  • Wind (the breezy kind) and Wind (the thing we used to do to clocks) are homographs. (It would be somewhat difficult to run like the wind (the clock one), unless one were to run in place spinning round and round).
  • Fare (the thing you pay cabbies) and Fair (as in the world’s just not) are homophones.

Homonyms refer to words that are both homophones and homographs but have completely different meanings, though in non-technical usage homonyms are used to refer to words that have either or both properties.

  • Fair (the concept of fairness) and Fair (the place with chickens and roasted corn) are homonyms.

I think I make this mistake a lot because of how quickly I was drafting. At my peak I was writing 1800 words an hour with no time to slow down and make the distinction between “would paneling” and “wood paneling“.

Of course I also make the typical mistakes of they’re, their and there and unnecessarily adding apostrophes to thing’s.

Friday’s Harold Emmet sat in his chair smoking a cigar.” Though in this case I did mean the Harold Emmet who comes in on Fridays (clones), as opposed to “every Friday Harold Emmet sat in his chair and smoked a cigar“.

And before “damn you auto-correct” there was “It had been 10 years since man had set food on Mars“. I’ve been paying for that one with my parents for years.

Ultimately this is just one of the things that makes revision both challenging and fun, both for me and my beta readers who hold the more amusing mistakes over my head. To them I say:

“It take’s won two no one. So their!”

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Round-Ups, Writing

6 responses to “This Won’s Four Yew, Dad

  1. Dad

    I stand corrected! Most of what you do are homophones! You are write!

  2. Excellent post today. Thanks so much for sharing. I really enjoyed it very much.

    Enjoy writing? We would love for you to join us!

    Writers Wanted

  3. Chuck Conover

    They have yet to make an “Auto Correction” program that is smarter that a human writer. I can miss-spell a work SO badly, that no program on earth can figure out what I meant … mean … er …

  4. Hi
    check out the blog post on strictly writing all about spell checker and what it misses http://strictlywriting.blogspot.com/2011/04/no-missed-aches-in-man-you-script-with.html
    hope you enjoy it.

  5. Pingback: When to hit publish | Ben Trube

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s