So far we’ve made it past the Whetherman, through expectations (and the doldrums), and to the gates of Dictionopolis. Where do we go from here? To market of course. Would you not wish to see words being sold? Not sure I could resist. Just try to get me out of a bookstore before I’m ready to go…I dare you.
The plays Mr. Juster put on words do more than just provide amusement, they teach. Differences between which and witch, which you will discover later, for instance. As it is we have run into whether and weather and learned those have different meanings. These type of words that sound the same yet are spelled differently, and have different meanings are called ‘Homophones’.
Homophones may be more prevalent than you would imagine. Here’s a list of some of them:
Who knew? There are also homonyms, homographs, heterographs, etc… Each explaining characteristics of certain types of words as they relate to each other in ways that may be confusing on the surface. I don’t know them all, that’s for sure. And to differentiate when trying to explain I often have to confirm what I remember by looking it up again. The point is to show that words are not just skin deep. There are many layers and levels.
It has been said that English is one of the hardest languages to learn. Whether this is referring to British English or American English I do not know. But one of the reasons is that there are rules that govern the use of words that I can almost guarantee are not even taught. If they are it is in such a manner as to merely associate you with them in brief and then carry on as the bulk of daily communication does not rely on knowing them.
They can be a lot of fun though. I’ve always found that most things are simpler if you only know how they work. Just imagine how much better you might communicate with a greater understanding of how your own language works. The best part…It’s a lifetime endeavour.
Have fun in the marketplace where bugs abound, just not as you might know them.