Friday, July 29, 2016

Sound and Sense, 55

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. die (verb): to cease living (noun): a tool that is used for cutting, shaping, or stamping a material or an object (noun): one small cube with numbers printed on each side (plural: dice)
2. dye (noun) a substance used for changing the color of something (verb) to change the color of something

She really didn’t want to dye
That top. So she began to cry
When I suggested she might try.

“Well, why don’t we just roll a die?”
I asked. “And then we’ll see if I
(Or you) should choose the perfect dye

For your old top?” I thought I’d die
When I then heard my wife reply:
“I have a weapon—you can buy

Them on the Internet”—I sigh—
“And I am not about to lie:
Shut up, or I will used this die

To cut a different shape for you.”
I thought that that was dark in hue—
But shut my mouth—as wise men do!

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