Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

It feels like we had these homophone’s before.  A quick check of my old posts revealed that this was a writing challenge for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Saturday Mix – Double Take, November 25, 2017.  Homophones are words that sound alike but they have different meanings and they are spelled differently.  There are many words in the English language that sound the same but are spelled differently and some of these are: (ate eight), (bare bear), (be bee), (blew blue), (board bored), (bolder boulder), (brake break), (ceiling sealing), (cent sent), (cereal serial), (cite sight), (close clothes), (dear deer), (dew do due), (die dye), (feat feet), (flew flu flue), (flower flour), (hall haul), (hear here), (heard herd), (hi, high), (higher hire), (hole whole), (hour our), (know no), (lessen lesson), (made maid), (mail male), (meat meet), (miner minor), (pail pale), (pair pear), (pause paws), (peace piece), (read red), (right write), (seas sees), (scene seen), (side sighed), (steal steel), (some sum), (tail tale), (there their they’re), (to too two), (threw through), (wait weight), (weather whether) and (waist waste).  Sometimes a picture can help you understand the meanings of which homophone that you are using.

The English language developed as a result of several invasions of Britain.  The first involved three tribes called the Angles, the Jutes and the Saxons.  A mix of their languages produced a language called Anglo-Saxon, or Old English.  It sounded very much like German.  Only a few words remained from the Celts who had lived in Britain.  The English language was strongly influenced by an event that took place in the year five ninety-seven, where the Roman Catholic Church began its attempt to make Christianity the religion of Britain and they infused Latin into the English language.  This may have been a good thing as now educated people from different countries were able to communicate with each other using Latin.

Two more invasions added words to Old English.  The Vikings of Denmark, Norway and Sweden arrived in Britain more than one thousand years ago.  The next invasion took place in the year ten sixty-six.  French forces from Normandy were led by a man known as William the Conqueror.  The Norman rulers added many words to English.  Over time, the different languages combined to result in what English experts call Middle English.  While Middle English still sounds similar to German, it also begins to sound like Modern English.  The development of the English language took a giant step just nine years before the death of William Shakespeare, when three small British ships crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1607 landing in what would later become Virginia.

English has not went through a proper spelling reform for centuries, so English has a lot of homophones.  Words were borrowed from French and they would overlap with an existing (native Germanic) word.  English has very extensive borrowing, more than almost any other language in the world, so this means it might have more homophony than other languages.  English spelling has not changed even though the way we speak English has.  Homophones can be made up of words that are contractions.

Written for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January eleventh prompt suggested by M. Oniker and that is “flew/flu/flue”.

2 thoughts on “Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

  1. I enjoyed this post, and learned a bit. Have to add a favorite set of homophones: lead/led. This is the source of what I’m sure is one of the most common misspellings in English. I even saw the past tense of lead spelled as if it were the present tense, or as if a poisonous substance were being sold over the counter, on a container available at a drug/toiletries store.

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