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Calling on the homophone.

Too-fore-sics-ate! Homophones we appreciate!

Homophones are pairs (pears, pares), triads, or more capacious clusters of words that sound the same but are spelled differently and communicate different meanings. Here (hear) are some (sum) beastly examples:

What do you call a naked grizzly? A bare bear. What do you call a pony with a sore throat? A hoarse horse.

Have you ever seen a dear deer, a grisly grizzly, a new gnu, a foul fowl, a towed toad, an ant aunt, and a gorilla guerrilla?

Have you ever seen a boar bore, a bee be, a whale wail, a flea flee, ewes use, and does doze?

Or take this homophonic tour de farce: Have you heard about the successful perfume manufacturer? Her business made a lot of scents (cents, sense). That's a triple play--three homophones nestled in a single syllable!

I have been able to snare well more than a hundred triple homophones (there, their, they're) and quadruple homophones (right, rite, write, wright), reaching as high as sextuple homophones (air, heir, err, ere, Eyre, Ayer).

Hear here. Let's start with 20 words that become their own homophones when their first letter is beheaded:
 aisle/isle            knew/new
 llama/lama         wrest/rest hour/our              knickers/nickers
psalter/salter     wretch/retch knap/nap              knight/night
scent/cent         wright/right knave/nave            knit/nit
whole/hole         write/rite kneed/need            knot/not
wrap/rap           wrote/rote 

Now take a look atanother list of 20 words that become their own homophones when theirlast letter is curtailed:
 butt/but            flue/flu           ore/or bee/be
bye/by              fore/for           please/pleas belle/bell
canvass/canvas      inn/in             prose/pros block/bloc
caste/cast          lamb/lam           sow/so borne/born
damn/dam            apse/laps          tease/teas 

Next up, 20 pairs of words that are homophonic when we delete aninternal letter:
 choral/coral        maize/maze         overrate/overate boarder/border
fourth/forth        mined/mind         read/red boulder/bolder
guild/gild          mooed/mood         reign/rein callous/callus
hoarse/horse        mourning/morning   two (too)/to fined/find
lead/led            oar/or             waive/wave 

Now for the most pyrotechnic of all homophone acts--20high-stepping homophonic pairs that turn out to be anagrams of eachother:
 hide/hied           pride/pried        steak/stake break/brake
hose/hoes           reed/rede          tale/tael discrete/discreet
meet/mete           rude/rued          tear/tare gale/gael
ore/o'er            ruse/rues          tide/tied great/grate
pear/pare           seer/sere          wear/ware 

And, finally, two patterns that I observed in the passageyou'll soon read--20 past-tense -ed verbs and 20 s-marked plural nouns that turn out to behomophonic:
 guessed/guest         passed/past        weighed/wade bowled/bold
holed/hold            sighed/side        wheeled/wield chased/chaste
mooed/mood            soared/sword       whiled/wild cored/chord
mussed/must           stayed/staid       whirled/world graphed/graft
owed/ode              trussed/trust      whored/hoard
boos/booze         gays/gaze             pros/prose         sighs/size
cents/sense        guys/guise            rays/raise         tees/tease
chants/chance      hours/ours            seas/seize         tents/tense
days/daze          paws/pause            sects/sex
verses/versus dents/dense        pennants/penance      senses/census

In the 12 paragraphs you are about toread, each word is homophonically misspelled. That means noifs, ands, and only one butt, as almost all of the little prepositions and conjunctions that glue oursentences together become unavailable, along with most pronouns. While Ido repeat homophones of articles, prepositions, conjunctions, andpronouns, I strive not to recycle the same spelling of any homophonicmain word: nouns, verbs, and modifiers.

To the eye, the textlooks like the work of a demented typesetter with an orthographicdisability. But when you read it aloud, it sounds a lot like English. Toavoid getting a headache, please consult the ensuing translationwhenever necessary:

Hears sum rye, humerus pros eye rote wonidol mourning our discreetly four nun butt deer auld ewe. Bye chants,wood yew--sunny buoy, chased made--chews riches sighed inn uh capitolcaws, Dane two lone you're assistants two Dix kneed? Watt heeonce mussed bee dun. Mite eww gneiss guise, suite Mrs. aurally reed maihole peace allowed? Yew wood? Tea he! Yea! Hay! Aye guest rite!

Gays, stair, canvas, saver mai epoch owed too write-whey righting.Yule here ore sea Howe ate-carrot, forte-knocks-sighs, goaled-plaitedversus martial hour census; rays hour aw; seam owe sew bowled, ternboulder--hear oar oversees, sealing two seller, there scull, lox, Ibrowse, knows rite too they're heals, souls, feat, tows innshoos

Thee awl-whys sol praise, seize, here's, noseweave finely one uh whirled-premier, grayed-eh, tighten pries baste awnreel fax inn bettor, meteor, Whittier, finally-maid plotz witch plumpurist soles. Grate read-wight-blew pried ads flare, caries wait, urnsascent, complements, hie preys, lo boughs four mai hail, cereal tail.Its acute butte! Adherence clamor fore moor!

Currant stileguyed lessens billed trussed; holed wait; we've whit; Wynnemeddles; illicit acclimation--bayou fare-hewed flours; popery sashays;whine sands pier; pallet-peeking deserts; minx firs; sheik close, Whigs,warn genes; rapt presence pact inn uh bo-tide Bach's.

Aye--you're bazaar barred; meet mews; franc auricle; pore,plane profit; trustee tooter--whish Yul knot Bea hostel ore pea owedo'er doughs, knapping allot, two dammed board buy bass, cheep,feint, heirless, miner, stayed, stationery, wurst Babel witch Mrs.Marx.

Dew knot caul mi uh rued, ruff faux; uh foe, lackslyre; uh sari, week-need cowered; oar uh doer, callus, mien nave hoo laxprincipals ore manors, hoo wood except graphed o'er hied oarberry boos, licker, logger bier, pail ail, junkie jinn, oar heroine; oreuh sic, grocer, teste putts (two quoin uh frays) hoo wood insight uh cootwo sees uh hansom princess thrown; steel uh faro's lute--joules,purls, cache, Czechs--uh shakes whored; o'er rayed uh precedencewore rheum. "Holed yore hoarse! Clothes you're pi whole!Doo pennants! Your cane, knot able--uh phat-but hangar-awn, uh cursorhoo boarders awn shear roomer! Aye overate yew!" isle repost,mach, tees, sensor.

Yoo hoo red mai holy Abel, Ernest whirredmaize wright threw Cannes coolie fined patients bye wrestingyou're world, phased, waisted mined fora we bitt. Quires carrelcoral cords, Cokes daze berth. Wholly serifs clime starlet, Arielpiques, witch Basque inn sonny whether. Reign-beaus ark. Uh summary seeBries throes knew cedes, maze colonels. Lightning lodes, rapped hartsryes, sore--born hi, razed hire, Leica gnu berth.

Whiledbores, mousse, yacks, lamas, news grays inn uh heard. Hairs, dear, doze,fauns gamble inn Haydn Sikh. Aunts, Beatles, flees, knits, leaches,Nat's, tics borough. Lam, use lo, bah. Bronx knicker, Winnie.Grisly bare pause, clause. Katz per. Pidgin coups. Cox Crowe. Foulscheap. Signets lei. Wales, mores, raise, guild Marlon pea. Links a tax,bytes. Guerrillas inn troupes eight pares, aplomb. Quayle, Robyn, be,burred flu. Illegals wield, sword. Mewls, burrows braid. Towedstaid.

Wont Moore, rood guessed? Aisle knot paws butt--PeeDee Cue, toot sweet--altar hour mooed. He'd fay cymbals ore sines witch cents bruitpane; worn ore bowed dyer straights; baron whoa, crewel fete: Wringingbelles peeled, told grizzly knight, chili rein, roomy missed, Erie Paul.Inn uh Grimm would, Cyprus routes frees. Beach bows sheikh. Timbre! Vialgilt wreaks. Few! Uh fowl cent Styx too dents, teaming heir.

Taught, tents mussels flecks, titan. Vanes leek. Sells whither.Limns brews, creek. Soars oohs. Wastes synch. Naval hertz. Hare reseeds.Elicit, band hoars ewes sects. Haight Concord. Murderess gorillasmustard fuhrer; chute pistils, canons; wheeled axis; serge; sleighheeling piece; pray awn holey fryers; reck Seine scents. Wii pourretches, spade UNIX, cant bare undo torcher oar sloe dyeing, sow wheebrewed, "Thyme, tied whacks, wain--weight fore NohMann."

"Weir Dunne. Wheel loch hour gait, role,flea, peddle, sale aweigh," wee whale, wine, ball. "Idyllours flue passed Leica soared-baring night, hoo road foreword caste innmale," Wii grown, mown, mule, wile whet tiers coarse, poor, floe.Wracking size brake fourth.

Weal Finnish, waive by-buy! ado!high hoe! chow!

Silents rains.

Trust me,verbivorous readers. Every one of the 721 words in the passageyou've just read is a homophone. Illuminating the more elusiveones, auld is the first word in auld lang syne, a gneiss is a rock, mai is the first part of mai tai, fora is a plural of forum, Yul refers to actor Yul Brynner, caul is an intestinal covering, mi is a note on the musical scale, a wight is a creature, an awn is a slender bristle, and a wain is a farm vehicle. You get the idea.
   Sow pleas bare inn mined:
   No humor;
   No happiness.
   Know humor;
   Know happiness. 


Here's some wry, humorous prose I wrote one idlemorning hour discretely for none but dear old you. By chance, wouldyou--sonny boy, chaste maid--choose Rich's side in a capitalcause, deign to loan your assistance to Dick's need? What hewants must be done. Might you nice guys, sweet misses orally read mywhole piece aloud? You would? Tee hee! Yay! Hey! I guessed right!

Gaze, stare, canvass, savor my epic ode to right-way writing.You'll hear or see how eight-carat, Fort-Knox-size, gold-platedverses marshal our senses; raise our awe; seem oh so bold, turnbolder--here or overseas, ceiling to cellar, their skull, locks,eyebrows, nose right to their shoes, heels, soles, feet, toes.

The all-wise soul prays, sees, hears, knows we've finallywon a world-premiere, grade-A, titan prize based on real facts inbetter, meatier, wittier, finely-made plots which plumb purest souls.Great red-white-blue pride adds flair, carries weight, earns assent,compliments, high praise, low bows for my hale, serial tale. It'sa cute beaut! Adherents clamber for more!

Current style guidelessons build trust, hold weight, weave wit, win medals; elicitacclamation--buy you fair-hued flowers; potpourri sachets; wine sanspeer; palate- piquing desserts; minks furs; chic clothes, wigs, wornjeans; wrapped presents packed in a bow-tied box.

I--yourbizarre bard; mete muse; frank oracle; poor, plain prophet; trustytutor--wish you'll not be hostile or P.O.'d or doze,napping a lot, too damned bored by base, cheap, feint, grim, airless,minor, staid, stationary, worst babble which misses marks.

Donot call me a rude, rough foe; a faux, lax liar; a sorry, weak-kneedcoward; or a dour, callous, mean knave who lacks principles or manners,who would accept graft or hide or bury booze, liquor, lager beer, paleale, junky gin, or heroin; or a sick, grosser, testy putz (to coin aphrase) who would incite a coup to seize a handsome prince'sthrone; steal a Pharaoh's loot--jewels, pearls, cash, checks--asheikh's hoard; or raid a president's war room."Hold your horse! Close your pie hole! Do penance! You'reCain, not Abel--a fat-butt hanger-on, a curser who borders on sheerrumor! I overrate you!" I'll riposte, mock, tease,censor.

You who read my wholly able, earnest word maze rightthrough can coolly find patience by resting your whirled, fazed, wastedmind for a wee bit. Choirs carol choral chords, coax day's birth.Holy seraphs climb starlit, aerial peaks, which bask in sunny weather.Rainbows arc. A summery sea breeze throws new seeds, maize kernels.Lightening loads, rapt hearts rise, soar--borne high, raised higher,like a new birth.

Wild boars, moose, yaks, lamas, gnus grazein a herd. Hares, deer, does, fawns gambol in hide 'n'seek. Ants, beetles, fleas, nits, leeches, gnats, ticks burrow. Lamb,ewes low, baa. Broncs nicker, whinny. Grizzly bear paws, claws. Catspurr. Pigeon coos. Cocks crow. Fowls cheep. Cygnets lay. Whales, morays,rays, gilled marlin pee. Lynx attacks, bites. Gorillas in troops atepears, a plum. Quail, robin, bee, bird flew. Ill eagles wheeled, soared.Mules, burros brayed. Toad stayed.

Want more, rude guest?I'll not pause but--PDQ, tuit suite--alter our mood. Heed fey symbols or signs which sense brute pain, warnor bode dire straits, barren woe, cruel fate: Ringing bells pealed,tolled grisly night, chilly rain, rheumy mist, eerie pall. In a grimwood, cypress roots freeze. Beech boughs shake. Timber! Vile guiltreeks. Phew! A foul scent sticks to dense, teeming air.

Taut,tense muscles flex, tighten. Veins leak. Cells wither. Limbs bruise,creak. Sores ooze. Waists sink. Navel hurts. Hair recedes. Illicit,banned whores use sex. Hate conquered. Murderous guerrillas musteredfuror; wield axes; shoot pistols, cannons; surge; slay healing peace;prey on holy friars; wreck sane sense. We poor wretches, spayed eunuchs,can't bear undue torture or slow dying, so we brood,"Time, tide wax, wane--wait for no man."

"We're done. We'll lock our gate, roll, flee,peddle, sail away," we wail, whine, bawl." Idle hours flewpast like a sword-bearing knight, who rode forward cast in mail,"we groan, moan, mewl, while wet tears course, pour, flow. Racking sighsbreak forth. We'll finish, wave bye-bye ! adieu! hi ho!ciao!

Silence reigns.


San Diego, California
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Article Details
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Author:Lederer, Richard
Publication:Word Ways
Article Type:List
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2015
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