Grammar: Heterograph

Posted August 25, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Grammar Explanations, Self-Editing, Writing

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

If you break heterograph apart:

Hetero- means different, other

-graph means drawn or written

This means a heterograph is written differently — with a different spelling. It does not mean the same but does sound the same.

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

Grammar Explanations is…

…an evolving list of the structural rules and principles that determines where words are placed in phrases or sentences as well as how the language is spoken. 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 it makes quicker and/or better sense, I would appreciate suggestions and comments from anyone on an area of grammar with which you struggle or on which you can contribute more understanding.

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Part of Speech: Semantics, Word Play, Figure of Speech
Definition: Words that are spelled differently, but pronounced the same, and have different meanings. A type of homophone, and, yes, they are also considered homonyms.

A.k.a., heterographic homophone, homophonic heterograph

SOME Examples:
Ate versus Eight Bare versus Bear Be versus Bee
Blew versus Blue Copy Right vs Copyright vs Copywrite Dear versus Deer
Flour versus Flower Hair versus Hare Knead versus Need
Might versus Mite Pause versus Paws Right vs Rite vs Wright vs Write
Road vs Rode vs Rowed Son versus Sun Weak versus Week

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

“Standing Ovation” by Niccolò Caranti is in the public domain as well as under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, via Wikimedia Commons.

A photo of “Rosa Gold Glow” at the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden in California was taken by Stan Shebs [GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons.