How Weird Are Words

I hope your grammar is adequate, that you have a good grasp on the English language and that you are literate, as I plan to go well beyond the everyday Noun, Verb, Adjective, Adverb, Pronoun, Preposition and Conjunction here in this post.  What I am trying to say is that this may not be for everybody.  Let’s start with Homophones, which are words that will sound the same, but they will have different meanings and spellings, and they are usually expressed in pairs where each of two words, but there could be more words are pronounced the same way, however they would differ in meaning, origin, or spelling, consider for instance the words new and knew.  Homophone seems like a strange word, but if you look for them, you can notice them every day while you are reading.  OK here is another odd word, etymology and it is very similar to the word entomology, however they are not synonyms (have the same meaning), homophones (have the same pronunciation), or homographs (have the same spelling), so I should get to the point soon, or I will lose everyone.

Etymology is basically the chronological account of the birth and development of a particular word or element of a word, where as entomology is the branch of zoology concerned with the study of insects. Clearly these two words have different spellings, pronunciations and meanings, but the spelling and pronunciation are both close to each other, so therefore they could become a malaprop.  OK another term that I need to define, but because they are similar-sounding words, the malaprop confusion between these two words would create an unintentionally amusing effect, as if someone might say the etymology of the word baboon is derived from monkeys.  You may be familiar with the word Yogiism, which was used so well by Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra who was a professional American baseball player, coach and manager. A Yogiism is a malaprop and the one that I like the best is, ‘It ain’t over till it is over.’  I am sure that is clear as mud now and there I just made a sarcastic simile.

I cannot cover every aspect of the English language, but I thought that learning about certain grammatical terms might be useful to other writers.  Sort of similar to the synonym, homophone and homograph, we have the allonym, allophone and alphagram.  Isn’t this a wonderful language?  An allonym is something that all writers should be familiar with as it is a pseudonym that is often applying to ‘ghostwriting’ (where I have a real name, but on WordPress I am called Newepicauthor or A Unique Title For Me).  An allophone is one of a set of multiple possible spoken sounds or it can refers to variant of a single sound (a phoneme) which is pronounced slightly differently to another variant.  Examples of allophones are the different ‘p’ sounds in ‘spin’ and ‘pin’, and the different ‘t’ sounds in ‘table’ and ‘stab’.  It is quite common for these differences to go unnoticed because it is so slight that most people are unaware of them and would probably consider these sounds to be identical.  An alphagram is an anagram (rearranging the letters of another, such as ‘cinema’ to form ‘iceman’), (although not necessarily a meaningful or even pronounceable word, as usually defined by the word anagram) in which the letters of the new word or phrase are in alphabetical order, such as the anagram ‘a belt’ for the source word ‘table’, so this is basically less than an anagram.

Let’s just cover three more easy ones and then I will end this. I like this one, aptronym is a person’s name that matches his/her occupation or character, which is regarded as amusingly appropriate such as the roofer Dwayne Pipe, or parks supervisor Theresa Green, or yoga teacher Ben Dover, or hair-stylist Dan Druff, or a lady working in a flower shop Flora Gardner.  The word cacophony is used to refer to unpleasant sounding speech, a harsh word, or just plain ugly discordant vocalizing.  A synonym for this would be racket, noise, clamor or uproar.  It is the opposite of euphony, and human beings generally prefer to use and hear pleasing vocal sounds, rather than unpleasant ones.  This brings us to the word capitonym which is a word that changes its meaning (and sometimes pronunciation) when it is capitalized, and here you can think of polish and Polish, august and August, concord and Concord.

If anyone is interested in me covering any more of this weirdness, then please let me know.

40 thoughts on “How Weird Are Words

      1. iphone acts like it has a mind of its own, or it goes through a spell, or it is haunted similar to some kind of virus, but at least they have not been known to explode like the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

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  1. I always think English taught up till high school is mainly to enhance basic and applicative communication, which is good enough! For advanced needs, I guess seeking a major in the subj, should to be the goal. And then of course, the rest always have the freedom to read valid posts like yours! 🙂

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    1. I think that I have 25 followers and many of them never hit the like button or make any comments, so I don’t think that all that many people are actually reading my stuff. When I was in High School, we never covered Shakespeare, but while working as a substitute I did learn some of his stuff. I am not an English or Language Arts expert, but I enjoy doing research and I love to write.

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      1. I love to craft! Don’t know how good I am at it and neither did I do much in the study of this language beyond high school. My mother has a masters in English literature and she encouraged me to appreciate the world of words! Don’t worry about the likes and comments! Please keep writing. There will always be a few enthusiasts like me who will like and enjoy your well-researched & creative articles. Cheers👍

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  2. And you said you weren’t a pro? Look at you giving information for free. Hmm..on a more serious note.. You are thinking about writing such more posts than give them a common tag. It will be easy..

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    1. I could easily write more of this as there are a lot of really weird words in English and I think that I might have learned more about it than some others. I went to Catholic school in 8th grade and the nun would write a sentence on the board and then use her pointer to feature each word. She went around the class and when it was your turn, you had to know what part of speech that word belonged to. I learned all 8 parts, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections and then the next year when I went to public High School they were just learning nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives.

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      1. You should. I told you, you are an Academician. Even other people thank you for giving them new insights and information.. I don’t know if i should say this but public schools are well.. Not doing great at the moment..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I guess that is all the encouragement that I need so I will put out another installment of Weird Words. I work in the public school system so I am aware of a lot of the problems and don’t get me started on that today.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, you do charity with knowledge. Which is the true wealth.. So you are doing Okay.. You are doing better.. Way.. Way better.. And your parents were not Saints they were Angels..

        Liked by 1 person

      4. OK enough of this sappy stuff, as if you make me cry, then I’m going to kick you in the nuts. All kidding aside, my mom actually was a saint as she was born on All Saints Day and then she died on Mother’s Day and my Day was the greatest person that I ever met.

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      5. OK enough of this sappy stuff, as if you make me cry, then I’m going to kick you in the nuts. All kidding aside, my mom actually was a saint as she was born on All Saints Day and then she died on Mother’s Day and my Day was the greatest person that I ever met.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I heard this story about Bruce Lee and it is quick but a bit long. Well anyway while Bruce was still learning martial arts he went to this Shaolin Master who he heard could channel his energy, his CHI, into any part of his body and become invincible. Bruce went to check out this guy out to see if he could learn this technique. The master told one of his students to kick him in his stomach as hard as he could. The master channeled all of his CHI into his stomach and the student kicked him with all of’ his might, and nothing happened. The guy didn’t even flinch. The master tells another student to kick him in his face as hard as can. Once again, the master concentrates all of’ his CHI, the student kicks him in his face, and again nothing happens. He didn’t even get a bruise and Bruce was impressed.
        So the master says to Bruce, “All right, now you may punch me in my face as hard as you can. Bruce nods, the master concentrates all of his CHI, Bruce winds up, and then he kicks him in his nuts. And the master goes down clutching his crotch, gasping for air. While he is still laying on the floor he says to Bruce, “God dammit I told you to punch me in the face.” Bruce says, “I know, but at that particular moment, I really felt like kicking you in your nuts, because I think your technique is useless. I guess that you never know when life is going to kick you in the nuts.

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      7. I heard this story about Bruce Lee and it is quick but a bit long. Well anyway while Bruce was still learning martial arts he went to this Shaolin Master who he heard could channel his energy, his CHI, into any part of his body and become invincible. Bruce went to check out this guy out to see if he could learn this technique. The master told one of his students to kick him in his stomach as hard as he could. The master channeled all of his CHI into his stomach and the student kicked him with all of’ his might, and nothing happened. The guy didn’t even flinch. The master tells another student to kick him in his face as hard as can. Once again, the master concentrates all of’ his CHI, the student kicks him in his face, and again nothing happens. He didn’t even get a bruise and Bruce was impressed.
        So the master says to Bruce, “All right, now you may punch me in my face as hard as you can.” Bruce nods, the master concentrates all of his CHI, Bruce winds up, and then he kicks him in his nuts. And the master goes down clutching his crotch, gasping for air. While he is still laying on the floor he says to Bruce, “God dammit I told you to punch me in the face.” Bruce says, “I know, but at that particular moment, I really felt like kicking you in your nuts, because I think your technique is useless. I guess that you never know when life is going to kick you in the nuts.

        Like

      8. I guess that is all the encouragement that I need so I will put out another installment of Weird Words. I work in the public school system so I am aware of a lot of the problems and don’t get me started on that today.

        Like

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