SOUND AND SENSE:
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. fair (noun): an exhibition usually with accompanying entertainment and amusements (adj.) reasonable, just; average [there are numerous other meanings, too]
2. fare (noun): the money a person pays to travel; a passenger who pays a fare; a specified kind of food (verb): to get along, succeed
He really couldn’t stand the fair—
Especially the fast-food fare.
Although he paid the entry fare—
He’d done so on a stupid dare.
And at the fair how would he fare?
(Did anybody even care?)
Oh, life just did not seem too fair—
Or so he thought … then saw a bear,
And from its cage—just over there—
The bear could look; the bear could stare.
The guy advanced—too near his lair—
Got grabbed—he really had no prayer.
Post-lunch, I heard the bear declare:
“I have not had so foul a fare.”