Read to be Well-read

You have to read a lot of books to be considered well-read. Did you have to read that sentence a few times to make sure you read it right?

Heteronyms – Words that are spelled the same, but are pronounced differently (difference emphasis on difference syllables or vowels), and have different meanings, depending on content.

An overlap between homographs (same spelling, different meaning and pronunciation) and homonyms (same spelling and pronunciation, different meaning), heteronym pairs are often different qualifiers, in that one is a noun and the other a verb, or adjective.

In the opening sentence, the first example of “read” is a verb, and “well-read” is an adjective, in the second sentence, the first “read” is a verb/present tense, and the second, “read” is a verb/past tense.

It can be confusing when trying to choose the correct word while writing. Speech is almost automatic, uttered without regard to spelling. Ever write a word, one that is as familiar as your name, and it just doesn’t look right? Ever get “lead” and “led” mixed up? You can thank a heteronym.

Verb/Noun

abuse
use
contest
convert
graduate
rebel
excuse
wind
record

Verb/Adjective

polish
minute
aged/learned (added syllable)
alternate
perfect
separate

Verb tense

read
lead

Ever get “lead” and “led” mixed up? #syntax #amwriting #wordplay @Tara_R Click To Tweet
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Tara R

Columnist/Photographer at Our Write Side
Tara Roberts (pronounced Tar-ah and with a southern drawl) lives and plays on the Florida Gulf Coast. A former print news and online media reporter, she now spends her days roaming the woods and beaches of the Panhandle talking to herself, penning eclectic fiction, and taking photographs. She can be found most days at “Thin spiral notebook” trying to quiet the voices in her head.
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