Sketchplanations

Explaining one thing a week in a sketch

Heteronym: spell it the same, say it differently - Sketchplanations

Heteronym: spell it the same, say it differently

For a long time I’ve kept my ear (and eye) out for heteronyms. Homonyms are easy to spot - things like chip (food, processor), or bark (dog, tree) - but heteronyms are sneaky and you don’t notice them as easily. It always strikes me they must make English a pain to learn - “what do you mean read can be said as red or reed??! How’m I supposed to know that??”

A few other common ones (try to spot both pronunciations, it’s a little like the old out-cube/in-cube Necker illusion): bow, does, dove, import, lead, project, refuse, sow, tear, minute…

Also known, I believe, as a homograph (homo - same, graph - writing)

Hat tip to Richard Stevens for his nifty vintage-style heteronym list

Keep exploring

Homonyms, homographs, homophones, heteronyms…  - Sketchplanations
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