Tag Archives: Grammar

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!”


Filed under Round-Ups, Writing