Monday, August 8, 2016

Sound and Sense, 65

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. eye (noun): the organ of vision
2. ai (noun): a three-toed sloth
3. aye (adv.): yes
4. I (pronoun): 1st person singular

The pirate (who had lost an eye)
Was fond of answering with “Aye!

When sailors asked about the pain
Of never having sight again.

The pirate’s pet—a gentle ai
Remained confused and had to sigh.

These humans sounds! So much the same!
He wondered who should bear the blame.

(The bear aboard cared not for that—
And ate the ai in seconds flat.)

The pirate cried aloud, “Oh, why!
Was ever one so grieved as I?”

Aye, aye!”—his shipmates’ bold reply.
The parrot echoed (tried to fly).

And so they sailed into the east,
Were there consumed (that Kraken beast).

The Jolly Roger sank from sight,
As day descended into night.

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