Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sound and Sense, 45

We’re moving next to the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air. So … contronyms are words that have contradictory meanings (sanctiion = approve and disapprove; homophones sound alike but to not mean the same—and often are not spelled the same, either.

cheap (adj): inexpensive; of low quality
cheep (noun): the faint, shrill sound of a bird (verb): to make such a sound

I bought a birdcage—it was cheap,
So much so that my bird won’t cheep.
He’s too ashamed of his new place—
And so he says it to my face.
It seems that he has made that leap,
You know? To cheep or not to cheep?

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