Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

ON MATTERS BOTH ANTONYMIC AND HOMOPHONIC

The other day, the Missus and I drove past a construction site where million-dollar homes were sprouting like the proverbial mushrooms that sprout after a spring rain.

Speaking of rain, we’ve been getting far more than our normal share this summer.  It has rained pretty much every day over the last two months... or it seems like it.  I will spare you the joke about seeing a bearded neighbor building a very large boat in his backyard.  Oops.

But back to the construction site.

The Missus observed that it “looked like they were raising a bunch of houses,” adding that she meant “raising” (building), not “razing” (demolishing).

I thought about that for a moment.  It’s unusual to have two words that sound alike but which have opposite meanings.  But just how unusual are these antonymic homophones?  Wiktionary has a page full of ’em, but very few have the crisp elegance of the raise-raze pairing.

Well, if anyone should know, it’s my friend Johnny Tabs, who has a whole blog that is largely devoted to picking apart homophones.  So what say ye, Johnny?  Do you have an inventory of antonymic homophones. - or homophonic antonyms - that you would consider sharing with us?  Inquiring minds want to know.

1 comment:

Johnny Tabs said...

Yes, I do have a trove of homophones, near-homophones and malapropisms in-waiting to post for the right matching news article or personal event. Alas, nothing to compare to that amazing Wiktionary list of singular antonyms, i.e., each is only one word with opposite meanings.

Thanks for the shout-out, my friend.