Welcome to Words For Thought, the blog on wordrefiner.com. Like many of the previous blogs we are taking a look at homophones. Words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings.
I understand how important it is to have an error free manuscript. With over 40 years of experience, I have found that homophones give almost every writer fits and difficulties. The incorrectly chosen word will not be flagged by most spell-checkers.
Word Refiner is dedicated to uprooting all of these hidden errors and providing the spelling-error-free document that you want and deserve. I find these invisible spelling errors in 95% of published books.
Onto todays episode!
These three words are deceptively simple on the surface, but two have multiple and varied uses as we shall see.
The first and third words are rooted in the first millennia AD, the second word is only a few hundred years younger. They all have roots in Middle and Old English with some influence from Latin, Old Saxon, Greek, Dutch and Low German.
For is an amazing word, according to Dictionary.com it has over 30 different meanings. First and foremost as a preposition, and when combined with other words; like bid becomes forbid, it has a dark and sinister side. Among its many meanings is with purpose of, intended to, appropriate to the needs of, attempting to gain or acquire, a wish and many more. For is also used to describe a mathematical ratio, the batter was 2 for 4.
Fore is the Leatherman Multi-Tool of the trio, it functions as an adjective, adverb, noun, and preposition. It can mean close or near the front, first in place or time; it has multiple uses in the nautical world when combined with other words such as boom, mast, sail, and yard. It can also mean forward or before, and in golf it is used as a warning before initiating a drive.
Four is more like a butter knife, it was built with a single purpose in mind and can do little more. It is a cardinal number and has symbols to represent itself 4, IV, and IIII. It can refer to a playing card, one face of a die (singular of dice). It has a musical definition also - the guitar and piano traded four bar passages in the jazz ensemble.
There they are, three words with identical sounds, an entangled history and rather unrelated definitions. If you choose the wrong word in your work the reader is likely to notice the discrepancy and might lose the flow of your magic. Do all in your power to prevent that from happening. Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to ensure that your work is as smooth as possible.
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this issue of Homophones Hurt Your Writing on Words For Thought. Follow me on twitter: @wordrefiner , for more alerts about hazardous homophones search #HomophonesHurtYourWriting.
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Remember: Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference.
Copyright © 2015 Mark L Schultz
An avid reader and hyper speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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