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 trouble at some point. 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. I have blogged about many of these groups of words.
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 nine in the series about quadruple homophones. #HighScore!
Oar has been with us for centuries. It is a pole with a flat blade at one end, it is used in an oarlock mounted on the edge of the boat. It is different from a paddle that is used freehand. This word comes to us from Germanic influenced by Old English, Danish and Norwegian.
O’er is a poetic contraction of over and has been in use in literary works for many hundreds of years. Google describes it as archaic so we know it has been around for a long time.
Or is such a short word, it is used as a conjunction to indicate a group of choices. It introduces a consequence if a certain condition is not met. It is also a Boolean operator in computer programming. From Old and Middle English, it had the idea of other. These are only a few of the definitions of Or, a sure sign that the word has been with us for many hundreds of years.
Ore has a primary definition in English of a naturally occurring material that a metal or something else of value can be extracted from. The secondary definition is the abbreviation of the state I live in, Oregon. No, not crazy, as some might think.
It is also the national currency of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. It requires special punctuation in those languages.
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 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.
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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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