SoCS — Homophonia

For today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has given us an exercise in homophonia. No, that’s not a typo. She didn’t ask us to write a stream of consciousness post about homophobia. She asked us to write a post using “for,” “fore,” and/or “four.” She said we could use one of them, all of them, or any of them. So I guess I’m done since I just used all three of them.

Just kidding!

“For,” “fore,” and “four” are homophones. That is, they are words that sound alike, but have different meanings, and have different spellings.

“For” is the 12th most commonly used word in the English language. It’s everywhere and has multiple uses. According to Dictionary.com, “for” has 32 different ways it can be used as a preposition and two additional ways it can be used as a conjunction. “For” is quite a handy dandy little word.

At the opposite end of word variations is “four,” which is simply and pretty much only used as a number, as in one, two, three, four.

And somewhere in between, in terms of meanings, is “fore.” It can mean the front of a boat, as in “fore and aft.” Or it can mean in, toward, or near the front. Or it can be what someone shouts right before you get knocked unconscious by getting hit in the head by a golf ball.3CFE79EF-E66C-4913-B56D-75BE6DA7C683A few other common examples of homophones are:

  • to/too/two
  • there/their/they’re
  • by/buy/bye
  • know/no
  • here/hear
  • ate/eight

Well, Okay, you get the idea.

Now I’m done.

SoCS — Of Flower and Flour

A0816393-D206-4662-8A96-9A13EA03EF09Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt this week calls for us to use the words “flower” and/or “flour” in our posts.

Sheesh. What I do know about those two words is that they are homophones, or words that sound the same but have different meanings and may also be spelled differently. What I don’t know about flower and flour could fill a book — or at least a post.

My wife likes flowers. She thinks colorful flowers brighten up our home. So I will periodically stop by a flower shop and bring home a bunch of flowers for her to put in a vase and to place it on our dining room table. That seems to make her happy. And, you know, happy wife, happy life.

As to flour, I know that we keep flour in the kitchen pantry because my wife occasionally needs flour for some meal she’s preparing. In addition, we have baking powder and baking soda in the pantry because she occasionally needs one or the other in her cooking.

9A370A06-228A-4C5C-8624-6CD159FE1ADATo tell you the truth, though, I would not be able to tell you the difference between baking powder and baking soda, much less when to use one versus the other.

So there you have it, my treatise on flower and flour as presented by someone who possesses neither a green thumb nor a white thumb.

#FOWC — Lessen Learned

A1C1B58E-C247-4AFF-ABBF-CD19591BE978Last night at midnight my time, I published today’s FOWC with Fandango One-Word Challenge. The word for today was “lessen.” But as several bloggers pointed out to me when I woke up this morning, the wording in my posted FOWC prompt read “Today’s word is ‘lesson.’ Not to be confused with yesterday’s word, “lesson.’”

What the hell, Fandango? Is the word for today “lessen” or “lesson”?

Let me assure you, it’s “lessen.” Or at least it was supposed to be, since yesterday’s word was “lesson.”

Oh how clever I thought I was being to create homophone prompts on consecutive days. But maybe too clever for my own good, perhaps.

In the end, though, I did learn several lessons from this experience.

  • Never publish a post when I’m just about to fall asleep
  • Always proofread my post at least two or three times, including reading it aloud at least once, before hitting “Schedule” or “Publish”
  • Lessen my dependence on autocorrect to catch my errors. Apparently autocorrect isn’t good with many homophones

Let that be a lesson for all of us.

Hear Hear

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So you know how, when you want to express enthusiasm or agreement with something someone else has said and you yell out “hear, hear!”?

Hmm. Or do you yell out “here, here!”?

I suppose if you yell it out, it doesn’t matter if you’re yelling “hear, hear” or “here, here” because “hear” and “here” are homophones, or words that are spelled differently, have different meanings, but sound the same.

And, just for the record, “homophones” and “homophobes” are spelled differently and have different meanings. But while they have a similar sound, they don’t sound the same, as do “hear” and “here.” So please don’t yell at me for being insensitive and using the term “homophones” in this post. I’m not Mike Pence, you know.

But I digress. This “hear, hear” versus “here, here” matter is not something I wondered about very often because I was confident in my knowledge that “hear, hear!” was correct. Besides, how likely am I to ever use that specific expression in my writing?

But I have seen other people write “here, hear!” or “hear, here!” or even “here, here!” and I began to question my knowledge regarding this exclamation. Which combination of these two similar sounding but different meaning words is correct? Could I be wrong?

So I Googled it and I am pleased to say that I can savor this moment. The correct answer is “hear, hear!” Damn I’m good.

According to the website, Grammarist, “Hear, hear is the conventional spelling of the colloquial exclamation used to express approval for a speaker or sentiment. It’s essentially short for ‘hear him, hear him’ or ‘hear this, hear this,’ where these phrases are a sort of cheer.”

“Here, here,” however, “is widely regarded as a misspelling, although it is a common one.” It can be used appropriately, though, when calling your dog to come to where you are, as in “Fido, here, here!.” It doesn’t work with cats.

Where did this exclamation originate? Well, according to a Wikipedia article, the source is the Hebrew Bible, Samuel II 20:16: “Then cried a wise woman out of the city: ‘Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab: Come near hither, that I may speak with thee.’”

An alternative theory, also noted in Wikipedia, suggests that the phrase “hear him, hear him!” was used in the British Parliament from late in the 17th century. It was later reduced to “hear!” or “hear, hear!” by the late 18th century.

And you know what? This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about this topic.

Can I get a “Hear, Hear!”?