Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sound and Sense, 63

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. irruption (noun): the act of rushing in forcibly or violently; of a natural phenomenon: undergoing a sudden upsurge in numbers
2. eruption (noun): happening or beginning suddenly or violently (think: volcano!); the breaking out in a rash on the skin or mucous membrane

She studied the irruption of
Those animals that shared some “love”—

And learned to her profound surprise
A correlation. Nobel Prize?

She booked her tickets that same night—
To Stockholm, where she’d earned the right

(Or so was her deluded thought)
To wear that precious medal … not!

Eruptions of much global cheer
Would not be hers—were never near.

For her “discovery”—sex brings birth—
Did not exactly shake the earth.

Eruptions on her skin ensued—
Some colleagues said that she was lewd.

But she would win her prized Nobel—
A study showing very well

That humans were a petty bunch—
At work, at play, and, yes, at lunch.

So she retired, enjoyed her fame—
She’d played—and she had won—the game.

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