Daily Archives: March 30, 2011

Some of These Things Aren’t Like the Other

The English language is a crazy language. We don’t spell some words the way we pronounce them and we don’t pronounce others the way they’re spelled. On top of that we have words that are pronounced the same but are spelled differently. These are called homophones, such as pair, pare, pear, or weigh and way. There are quite a few of these to confuse a poor soul. Some of them are listed here: CrazySquirrel.com

But there are words that are not homophones, which people treat as though they are. In other words, people get confused when writing and use the wrong word. Here is a short list of some of the common words which actually are not pronounced the same yet are often confused.

  • Rational vs Rationale: Rational (rashunull) is what I hope you are, a rational intelligent sponge. Rationale (rashunal emphasis on the last syllable) is what I hope a rational human being can deliver. If you have a rationale for your decision to make turnip houses, it means you have a reason, principles or belief that these work better than bricks.
  • Averse vs Adverse: Averse means unwilling, reluctant or opposed to, as in having an aversion to something. I’m averse to eating larva. Adverse means unfavorable or acting against, the humidity and acid lakes in the lizard world caused adverse conditions for humans. These words are much more similar and easily confused.
  • Lightening vs Lightning: Lightening (3 syllables) means to remove darkness from something, as in the sky was lightening as the thousand alien ships tore away after harvesting Earth’s cows. Lightning is that bright jagged light that forks out of the sky after a storm. The lightning illuminated the sky and the 30-foot giant coming over the horizon.
  • Yeah vs Ya: Yeah is also spelled “yah”. It means affirmative or yes, as in, yeah that was some crazy lizard dance you just did. Yay is a form of cheering, as in yay we have slipped the yoke of servitude and will never succumb to human power again. Yay is like hooray and pronounced how it looks. This one people seem to mix up a lot, say “yeah me” when they often mean “yay me.”

That’s it for the non-homophone words that people mix up. There are of course others but until the aliens release their hold on my mind or your vocabulary, the rest will need to wait until later. From the mothership, have a grammatically fun day.

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