Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sound and Sense, 84

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. grade (noun): a level of study in school; a letter or number that indicates a student’s level of achievement (verb): to give a rating to someone or something; to assign or prepare for grades
2. grayed (adj.): having become gray or older

He wasn't happy with his grade
With how his teacher, very grayed,
Stood in his class and crudely brayed:

“That boy—that one who’s sitting there—
Is really dumb, and I don’t care
Who knows it. So I thought I’d share

My feelings here in class today.”
The kids all laughed (a sad display),
And I? Well, I just went away.

For years I wandered all alone
(Without computer or a phone)
And thought of how my dreams had flown.

But then I heard a little bird
That chirped: “Rely upon the word!”
And so I’ve done—you may have heard.

I now write doggerel all the time.
(Okay, I sometimes force a rhyme.)
Today I write about that slime

Who shamed me all those years ago.
I hope he knows I roll in dough—
Much more than Edgar Allan Poe.*

That bird I’d met (he’d known the score)
Was that famed raven known of yore,
That one who’d croaked, yes, “Nevermore!”

And from that bird I took the rhymes—
Some awfully dumb (they should be crimes!)—
That keep me in the bucks (sometimes).

*who never made much

No comments:

Post a Comment