Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sound and Sense, 60

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. eerie (adj.): mysterious, strange, even frightening 
2. Erie (noun): (a) a member of an American Indian people living south of Lake Erie in the 17th century (b) the lake named for them (source: adaptation of the Huron word for these people—Eriehronon)

Those Erie people—and that lake—
Are so well known throughout the land.
We must be careful (no mistake)
To show some care for where we stand.

It would be eerie, no, if we
Betrayed the trust that we should give
To all of our posterity—
Polluting water where we live?

The fish will thank us—Monster, too—
For all the lives we know depend
On stewardship from me and you—
And if we fail? Well, life can end ...

No comments:

Post a Comment