10:27 AM 3/15/2009
The Homograph page
What the hell is a homograph, anyway?
A homograph is a word that has different pronuciations and definitions, but is spelled the same (homo=same, graph=write).
An example (other than the collection farther below) would be the word "bow." The ribbon that a pretty girl would wear in her hair is different from the front of the Titanic. At least we hope so. Anyway, you get the idea.
Why is it important?
However, this page has been 'off the menu' for several months, but since there had actually been numerous weirdos who have actually found this page, and others wondering what happened to it, I have put it back. There's just no accounting...
So, what's the big deal?
This little bit of trivia is simply an interesting part of the English language. And long before I knew what they were called, I began writing them down when I thought of one or saw one. Over the years it has grown into a good sized list.
Your job is to help me add to this list. If you can think of one that I haven't listed below, please email me at my email address and enlighten me.
The actual physical list shown here has been hopelessly out-dated for many months. Because you don't see your contribution doesn't mean I don't have it. But more likely I have given up trying to be the ultimate homograph page. See the link below for the best and most complete list you'll ever see.
Extract from Professor Higgins' work (see link below):
"Homographs are those words which have one spelling but two pronunciations and two distinct meanings or usages. A classic case would be a word like wound, which as a noun means injury and with a different pronunciation is the past tense of the verb wind, itself a homograph. The term is contrasted with homophones, words with two spellings and two meanings but only one pronunciation such as fair/fare, and with homonyms, words with one spelling, one pronunciation, but two unrelated meanings, such as bear or just or left. The fact that the meanings are unrelated is what distinguishes homonyms from polysemes, words with varied meanings or usages, such as course or table or paper, where all the meanings can be traced back to the same source. English has an enormous number of polysemes, but only a relatively small set of true homonyms."
OK, so you're impressed. But if you want to see some REAL effort at amassing homographs..... ...and why wouldn't you? You're here aren't you? Try Professor John Higgins' site for a thorough covering of the subject. You won't be sorry.
Another page with excellent definitions and differences defined (and some additional links) is this heteronym page.
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|Last updated March 28, 2010|