After leaving the Sacred Harp singing last night, Mike, Chris, Lydia and I started talking about blogs. And, Mike brought up a suggestion of what I should write about on mine soon: homographs. I thought, 'Yeah! That would be a good idea!' Little did I know that my brain would be bombarded by direct hits and near misses on the subject over the next seventeen hours (in between sleep, meetings, and conference calls), and I can't shake them.
For those who don't quite remember what homographs are, I did a little research (without looking up tons of examples) to provide a review of a few terms.
homophone: words that sound the same but are spelled differently
Example: Two, to, too
homonym: words that have the same spelling and sound but different meanings
Example: Stalk (corn stalk) and stalk (excessively follow someone)
homograph: also words that have the same spelling but have different meanings (similar to, if not the same as, homonym)
Example: Cleave (can mean separate/divide or can mean adhere to)
Last night, we kept using the word homograph for the words we were exchanging back and forth. But, in my research, it seems I have found a more exact name.
Heteronym (also sometimes called heterophone): words that are spelled the same but have different pronunciations and meanings. (In other words, they are homographs which differ in pronunciation or, technically, homographs which are not homophones.)
Example: Desert (abandon) and desert (sandy place)
Again, same spellings, different pronunciations, different meanings.
So, the challenge is to think of heteronyms (known as homographs or heterophones to some)...but to NOT LOOK THEM UP ON THE INTERNET OR IN BOOKS! You, of course, can look at the Wikipedia page where I did my "research"... but try to refrain from looking at the links on that page or at other sites. From my experience in the past seventeen hours, it is exciting to think of them on one's own. See what you can discover.
My meager findings so far (as examples):
sow (female pig) and sow (planting seeds)
dove (past tense of dive) and dove (bird)
bass (fish) and bass (instrument or singing voice)
close (proximity) and close (shut the door)
dingy (dirty) and dingy (small boat)
address (speech) and address (mailing location)
Bonus fact: I also liked reading about capitonyms, which I had never heard of before.
Capitonym: words that are spelled the same but have different meanings when capitalized (and may or may not have different pronunciations.)
Example: polish (to make shiny) and Polish (from Poland)