Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sound and Sense, 50

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.

1. clause (noun): (a) a separate part of a legal document (b) a group of words containing a subject and a verb
2. claws (noun—pl): sharp, curved parts on the toe of an animal (such as a cat or bird)

“Now write me a dependent clause,”
The hoary English teacher said.
The cheetah thought about his paws
And what they’d do to Teacher’s head.

But he (the cheetah) knew, of course,
The clause about deportment, so
He kept his claws withdrawn—the source
Of innocence. He was a pro

Of patience. But he knew the day
Commencement came—the last hurrah
For Teacher. He had found a way
To eat that hoary teacher—raw.

The teacher was about to praise
The cheetah’s old dependent clause,
When cheetah struck! His eyes ablaze!
Roared: “I'm dependent on my claws!”

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