Tag Archives: spelling

Homophones

Homophones

Homophones are words which have the same pronunciation but different meaning and usually, different spelling. For example, their/there; no/know. For this reason it is very easy to confuse them and use the wrong one. In such cases, computer spell checkers won’t help you much at all. This is where you really need someone else to read what you have written (CLICK HERE for details).

Poets deliberately choose words with this quality for special effect. See if you can follow the meaning of these poems.

CANDIDATE FOR A PULLET SURPRISE¹

I have a spelling checker.
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
Its vary polished inn it’s weigh.
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when aye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed too bee a joule.
The checker pours o’er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore a veiling checkers
Hour spelling mite decline,
And if we’re lacks oar have a laps,
We wood bee maid too wine.

Butt now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
Their are know faults with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.

Now spelling does knot phase me,
It does knot bring a tier.
My pay purrs awl due glad den
With wrapped words fare as hear.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should bee proud,
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaws are knot aloud.

Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear four pea seas,
And why eye brake in two averse
Buy righting want too pleas.

Jerry Zar, 29 June 1992

In the above poem, by the author’s count, 123 of the 225 words are incorrect (although all words are correctly spelled).

Here’s another poem which focuses on two words which are homophones of each other.

Whether the weather be fine²

Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather,
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.

More Homophones

If you want to find out more about homophones, look at the following website which boasts having a complete list of homophones!

http://www.homophone.com/

References

¹ http://www.bios.niu.edu/zar/poem.pdf
² Author unknown.

Have your document edited for homophones! Click here.

How can you increase your vocabulary?

How can you increase your vocabulary? Being in the ‘English’ industry, people often ask how they can increase their vocabulary, how they can learn new words.

There are many apps around which users feel will help build their word power, and maybe they do. Apps like Boggle, and its derivatives are great to use the words you know. But I’d like to draw to your attention to two online websites/programmes which I think are even better for building your vocabulary. They are Free Rice and Vocabulary.com.

Free Rice is a site which my colleagues and I sometimes recommend to those who want to learn new words. The reason for the name – Free Rice – is that every word you get correct increases your ‘store’ of rice by 10 grains, which are actually donated to hungry people through the United Nations World Food Programme, or goes towards providing free education to those who in need through sponsors of the website. Free Rice vocabulary testing covers a wide range of fields including: the humanities – famous paintings, literature, world hunger, famous quotations; English – vocabulary & grammar; math/maths – multiplication table, basic math (pre-algebra); chemistry – chemical symbols, chemical symbols (basic); language learning – German, Spanish, French, Italian, Latin; geography – world landmarks, identify countries on the map, world capitals, flags of the world; sciences – human anatomy; and test preparation for SAT®.

Such websites do help to boost a person’s understanding of words. However, there is much more to knowing a word than remembering its synonyms or its meaning or definition. One website that does focus very well on many of the other areas involved in knowing a word is Vocabulary.com. Not only does it highlight which words you don’t know, but it also teaches you essential English words in a stimulating way. Using adaptive technology it adjusts the new words it gives you based on how well you have done to date. It will keep coming back to you with words you haven’t ‘got’ until you do! Even when you think you know how a word is spelled, how it is used in a sentence, what other words it is associated with and of course its meaning, then it will surprise you at some future occasion and see if you still retain it!

Another way of developing your vocabulary is through extensive reading. Research shows that you will only remember a new word if you meet it at least eight times in reasonably quick succession. Read books, magazines, articles, blogs or whatever, that you are interested in and you will surely build your vocabulary.

Proofreading scanned documents

Digitising a company’s files is an integral part of record keeping and archiving these days. Sometimes these files need to be converted to text and not just kept in an image format. There are many programmes which convert images (TIFF, JPG, etc.) to editable text using OCR, Optical Character Recognition. This is not a foolproof process, and after this has been done, spell checking and other error checking will need to be done. As mentioned in Homophones, some words may be spelled correctly, but they may be the wrong words for the sentence.

Thus, for important business documents, having human eyes read it through to make sure it is the same as the original is absolutely essential. This is a service that I offer: proofreading your business or other documents to make sure they are the same as the scanned original document.

If you would like me to give you a quote, do get in touch. My service is confidential. Complete the following form and I will get back to you.

I look forward to working with you on your project.