Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Sound and Sense, 66

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. fain (adv.): gladly, willingly
2. fane (noun): a temple (or church, archaic)
3. feign (verb): to pretend, represent fictitiously

He thought he had no talent—well,
Except, of course, to feign.
And this allowed him to succeed
Without much use of brain.

“I fain would do it otherwise,”
He said when he was asked,
But he made no attempt at all
And kept his motives masked.

And then one day he found a fane,
Where people went to pray.
He went inside, saw money there,
Decided he would stay.

But they discovered his designs—
Quite easily, it seems,
And so he was again alone
With nothing but his dreams.

But dreams are really nothing if
You are afraid to work.
And so he was and so remained
An undiluted jerk.

No comments:

Post a Comment