Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sound and Sense, 77

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. gaiter (noun): a cloth or leather covering worn over the lower part of the leg especially to keep the legs and ankles dry when hiking
2. gator (noun): short form of alligator

He put his brand-new gaiters on,
Preparing for a hike.
He’d planned to hike the Everglades—
So much was there to like.

The gator thought about his lunch.
He always thought of food—
The finding it, acquiring it—
These always helped his mood.

The hiker wandered somewhat near
The gator later on.
The gator leapt; the hiker cried.
But then he was just gone.

The searchers found so few remains—
And they looked everywhere.
But then a searcher cried aloud,
“I see some gaiters there!”

And so they were, but that was all
The searchers ever found.
The gator, meanwhile, merely burped—
A gator’s not profound.

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