What you say has power

Fun With Words – Homonyms, Homophones and Homographs

The English language can be tricky. With over a million words (1,025,109 to be exact), we have words that are spelled the same but have different meanings, words that are pronounced the same but don’t mean the same thing, and words that are spelled the same but have different pronunciations and definitions. Throw in the wealth of commonly misused words and phrases and you have yourself quite the mess! But it can actually be fun to wade through the confusion and play with words.

Understanding how to break down words with multiple meanings must begin with a few definitions.

  • Homophones are words that are pronounced the same, but have differences in spelling and meaning.  An example would be the word eight and ate. The word can mean the number 8 or can indicate that you have just eaten something
  • Homonyms are words that are spelled and pronounced the same but have different meanings. For example, the word bark could be something on a tree or the sound a dog makes.
  • Homographs are spelled the spelled the same, but are pronounced differently and mean different things. The word bass is a great example. When pronounced with a long A, it refers to pitch of voice or musical instrument. But, it is also a type of fish.

All of these grammar rules may not be your idea of a good time, but trust me they’re useful. Why, you ask? Puns, that’s why! A pun is a joke or funny statement that exploits a word’s possible different meanings. They can be helpful in playfully drawing attention to your business through social media and blogging (another one of DCA Virtual Business Support’s sweet spots!).

Tell us what your favorite homophone, homonyms, and homographs are in the comments below! And if you have questions about how DCA Virtual Business Support can help boost your brand awareness through social media or blogging schedule a consultation directly on our calendar.