Welcome to this edition of Words For Thought, the blog on wordrefiner.com. Like many of the previous blogs we are looking 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. Because we sound words out in our mind, it is easy to write the wrong word.
Let’s not forget typographical errors also, a slip of the finger on the keyboard can create a different word that may not be caught by a spell-checker. There are many groups of words that vary by only one letter, such as must, mist and most. These three words have vowels that are beside each other on the keyboard.
The correctly spelled word in the wrong context will not be flagged by most spell-checkers. Word Refiner is dedicated to uprooting all of these invisible errors and providing your document free of spelling errors that you want and deserve. I find invisible spelling errors in 95% of published books.
Now, onto today’s episode! Number eight in the series about quadruple homophones. #HighScore!
Hoard is a very old word; the first known recorded use is before the 12th century. It seems to have Germanic roots and has traveled through Old English to arrive in the modern day. Widely used for hundreds of years, it works as both a noun and verb in Modern English. A hoard is a collection of items of a highly desired nature set aside or stored for future use. To hoard is to stockpile or store items for an anticipated future need.
Extreme hoarding is now considered a severe psychological issue and the subject of multiple programs on television. Someone’s sickness is now our entertainment.
Horde is another old word; its first known use is 1555. It has come to us from Turkey and been modified in the language of Poland. It originally identified nomadic Asiatic groups of people.
Modern usage is typically a derogatory remark about a group of people. The horde of relatives descended upon the sickly billionaire when he was announced as entering hospice. It can also refer to a pack or swarm of animals, a swarm of mosquitos descended upon George as soon as he left the house.
Hoared is another ancient word. The first known use of Hoar is before the 12th century. The first known use as an adjective goes all the way back to the late 13th century, hoarfrost. It describes a feathery appearance, whitish or light gray in color.
Its origin seems to be Old Norse, and is thought to refer to gray or white hair, a sign to respect.
Whored is the past tense and past participle of whore. This word generally refers to a person who degrades themselves for personal gain, such as divulging secrets for money. More specifically and most commonly, whore refers to a woman or man who gives sex for money.
There they are, four words with identical sounds. If you use the wrong word your reader might think they tripped on an unseen bump while reading and lose the reading momentum you worked so hard to create. Use every tool available to prevent that from happening, do not give your readers a reason to abandon your story. Use Word Refiner, beta readers, critique partners, proofreaders and editors to ensure that your work is error free and 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 information about hazardous homophones search for #HomophonesHurtYourWriting or #TyposHurtYourWriting on Twitter.
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Remember: Words Have Meaning and Spelling Makes a Difference
Copyright © 2018 Mark L Schultz
An avid reader and hyper speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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