Friday, August 12, 2016

Sound and Sense, 69

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. fated (adj.): certain or destined to do something
2. feted (adj.): celebrated, honored  (verb): past tense of fete (celebrate)

They feted Fred at work that day—
Retirement (with retirement pay!).

He felt so honored with their words
That flew at him like bothered birds.

But Fred was fated (sad to tell)
To hear an early funeral bell.

He didn’t hear it, actually—
That’s not a possibility,

For when they rang, our fragile Fred
Was really quite entirely dead.

St. Peter waved old Fred on through
(The Saint had other work to do),

And munching on some well-poached carp,
Fred learned that he could play the harp!

He wasn’t all that musical,
So nearby angels felt the pull

Of travel—to another spot
Where Fred the harpist, well, was not.

He had a lot to learn, you see—
But now he had eternity!

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