Yesterday morning, I returned home from the Y and found this note from my husband on the kitchen counter.
Don’t forget, dear reader, yesterday was Valentine’s Day. “Fresh stool?” I wondered, “What does that have to do with celebrating Valentine’s Day?” I could not make the connection. Then, since the note was on the kitchen counter, I examined the kitchen stools. Both looked fine. Now, my dear husband and the kids had been fighting a stomach bug for the past few days, so my mind turned toward that kind of stool (yeah, I know, yuck), but I couldn’t figure out why I needed a note about this. Finally, I just asked my husband: “Why do you need a fresh stool?” “Not me,” he answered. “The dogs. The vet needs a fresh stool sample from each of them.” Double yuck.
This experience got me thinking about homonyms (same word, same spelling, different meaning) and heterographs (different word, spelling, and meaning), and how they can make conversation quite funny. George Carlin joked, “Atheism is a non-prophet religion.” In Lewis Carroll’s Adventures in Wonderland, the mouse said, “Mine is a long and sad tale.” Alice looked at his tail and answered: “‘It is a long tail, certainly, but why do you call it sad?'”
For today’s assignment, write a scene between two or more characters in which homonyms or heterographs confuse the conversation. Or, write a poem with homonyms. Here are a few fun pairs to get you started:
*fluke (luck), fluke (fish)
*pair, pare, pear
*rose (flower), rose (got up)
*tire (on a car), tire (fatigue)
Your turn. Share some of your favorite homonyms and heterographs!