I spotted this Homonyms T-Shirt over at Mental Floss (why don’t I subscribed to this magazine?) and thought it was uber witty. I then found the video below on YouTube and now my view of homonyms will never be the same. I should note that if you’re at work, the video below is somewhat NSFW.
Did you know that there are actually two different types of homonyms? Yep:
A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of “rise”), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two, and too.
A homograph is a word or a group of words that share the same written form but have different meanings. When spoken, the meanings may be distinguished by different pronunciations (in which case the words are also heteronyms) or they may not (in which case the words are also both homophones and homonyms according to the definition of homonyms as words with the same writing and pronunciation; however, in a looser sense the term “homonym” may be applied to words with the same writing or pronunciation, in which case all homographs are also homonyms).
Anyhow, here’s an interesting venn diagram showing the relationships between homographs (yellow) and related linguistic concepts.
In any case, you can grab the very awesome Homonym T-Shirt from Mental Floss now for $17.97.