Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sound and Sense, 71

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. flair (noun): a natural ability to do something; an unusual or appealing quality or style
2. flare (noun): a light that shines brightly and briefly; a sudden expression of anger (verb): to shine or burn suddenly and briefly; to become suddenly excite, angry, or active

I felt a flare of anger when
I saw my older brother, Ben,
Be somewhere he should not have been.

Oh, Ben had lots of flair, no doubt,
But I knew what he was about—
And that caused me to brood and pout.

I’d seen his eyes, had seen  them flare
When he encountered that girl Claire.
And soon I felt just pure despair.

For Claire, you see, had been with me,
And now she wanted to be free—
To be with Ben—so plain to see.

I flared with pure volcanic rage—
I had to exit from Claire’s stage;
The time had come to turn the page.

But Ben's affection soon was slack—
He asked me if I’d take her back.
I laughed so hard I heard it crack—

My heart, that is, my fractured heart.
For years from them I’ve stayed apart.
And am convinced we can’t restart.

(Sad, eh?)

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