Grammar & Word Confusions: Homograph

Posted December 31, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Grammar Explanations, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

A type of linguistic word play, a homograph is a subset of homonym and comprises one or more words (one word is the most common).

If you break homograph apart:

Homo- means same

-graph means drawn or written

This means a homograph is written the same way — has the same spelling. It may or may not sound the same, and it will definitely mean something different.

If the homograph is spelt the same, then it is also a homonym; if it has a different spelling, then it’s a heteronym.

The primary concern for a writer is the possibility of choosing a word with one meaning while thinking it means something else. Choosing the wrong word that doesn’t suit the context, could provide comprehension problems for readers, which can affect your reputation and book sales.

Click here for a quick look at the differences between them -nyms, -graphs, -phone, and -semys.

Grammar Explanations and Word Confusions sometimes…

…involve the same words as it does here in this post on “Homograph”. Whereas a Word Confusion is a pair (or more) of words that are confused spelling-wise with each other, a Grammar Explanation may jump in because of the confusion involved in how the words are used within the structural rules and principles of English.

Sometimes I run across an example that helps explain better or another “also known as”. Heck, there’s always a better way to explain it, so if you have an idea or suggestion that makes quicker and/or better sense, I would appreciate suggestions and comments from anyone…as well as questions on issues with which you are frustrated. If you’d like to track it, bookmark this page. And consider sharing this Grammar Explanation with friends by tweeting it.

Homograph
Credit to: Buzzy Bee Riddles; Skillin, 224
Part of Speech: Semantics, Word Play, Figure of Speech
Definition: Words that are spelled the same but have different origins or meanings. How the word(s) are pronounced may be the same or different.
Examples:
address where someone lives ()
speak to someone in a formal way ()
advocate speak or write in support of someone or something ()
person who supports or pleads the cause of another ()
fair county fair
reasonable
pretty
lie untruth
prone
overall comprehensive, general
loose-fitting protective garment
redress get dressed again
requite for a loss
unionized form a labor union ()
not separated into ions ()

Return to top


Leave a Reply