After the Circus

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Dow's Lake Pier

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jean at geemoo dot ca

May 4, 2005
I have a new pet peeve. A new enemy in the world that I live in. Homonyms. Yes! Homonyms. We must all gather and take up arms against this foe, for it is a vile and evil and destructive force in our language! Only together, can we vanquish this monstrousity!
Homonym : hom·o·nym (hŏm'ə-nĭm', hō'mə-)
n. 1. a word that sounds the same or is spelled the same as another word but has a different meaning:

Now myself, I don't have a problem with homonyms themselves. I'm all for flexibility in our language and I think the use of homonyms should be widely encouraged. The problem I do have with them, is the fact that they are spelt differently. Why?!

What's the point? If two people are talking on a street corner and one says to the other: 'Say there, chap.. did you hear that noise?', the other person doesn't respond with 'Umm pardon me, did you mean there or their? or here or hear? or they're? Were you talking about me? or that female sheep over there? Oh bloody hell I'm confused now!'. If they did, we'd put them in a box and seal it shut and write on the box: 'WARNING! This box contains stupid people!'

When we're using our language orally, we manage to figure out the difference between there, their, and they're. Why do we really need to spell them differently so that we can manage the difference literately? So, what's the solution? I'm glad you asked! The only solution to this problem is to realize that since the words are spelt differently, then they should be pronounced differently as well. From now on, when anyone reads the word their, it should be pronounced as their. The difference I admit, can be hard to notice in a text form, but it sounds something rather alot like furffnooblegum... but not exactly like furffnooblegum.

Try it with me.
I hope those people down there will clean up their mess when they leave.
Excellent! Problem solved! World is saved.