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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Too Many Homophones

    If you ask me the English language has too many homophones, words that have more than one meaning. Just take for instance the word "pick," look it up in any dictionary and you will find many different meanings. This can make English confusing. Homophones are more trouble than they're worth. They should have a word for every definition not many definitions with just one word. This is one of my gripes about the English language although my other main gripe I will discuss in my other thread.

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Too Many Homophones

    What you're describing are not homophones (words which sound the same) but polysemes (words with multiple meanings).

    I agree with you, though.

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: Too Many Homophones

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    What you're describing are not homophones (words which sound the same) but polysemes (words with multiple meanings).

    I agree with you, though.
    Wikipedia defines homophone as "A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning, and may differ in spelling. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of "rise"), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two, and too"

    Wikipedia defines polysemy as "Polysemy (/pəˈlɪsᵻmi/ or /ˈpɒlᵻsiːmi/;[1][2] from Greek: πολυ-, poly-, "many" and σῆμα, sÍma, "sign") is the capacity for a sign (such as a word, phrase, or symbol) to have multiple meanings (that is, multiple semes or sememes and thus multiple senses), usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. It is thus usually regarded as distinct from homonymy, in which the multiple meanings of a word may be unconnected or unrelated."

    So I suppose both could mean words with multiple meanings. So the word homophone and the word polysemy themselves are synonyms, words with the same or similar definitions. Much like the words "soda" and "pop"

  4. Skrej's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Too Many Homophones

    This thread is starting to sound....


    wait for it....



    homophobic.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: Too Many Homophones

    Set has dozens of meanings, but that doesn't mean there are dozens of homophones here.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Too Many Homophones

    Quote Originally Posted by Photon Guy View Post
    So I suppose both could mean words with multiple meanings. So the word homophone and the word polysemy themselves are synonyms, words with the same or similar definitions. Much like the words "soda" and "pop"
    No. That's not the point.

  7. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: Too Many Homophones

    Quote Originally Posted by Photon Guy View Post
    Wikipedia defines homophone as "A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning, and may differ in spelling. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of "rise"), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two, and too"

    Wikipedia defines polysemy as "Polysemy (/pəˈlɪsᵻmi/ or /ˈpɒlᵻsiːmi/;[1][2] from Greek: πολυ-, poly-, "many" and σῆμα, sÍma, "sign") is the capacity for a sign (such as a word, phrase, or symbol) to have multiple meanings (that is, multiple semes or sememes and thus multiple senses), usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. It is thus usually regarded as distinct from homonymy, in which the multiple meanings of a word may be unconnected or unrelated."

    So I suppose both could mean words with multiple meanings. So the word homophone and the word polysemy themselves are synonyms, words with the same or similar definitions. Much like the words "soda" and "pop"
    homophone homo/same phone/sound - same sound different meanings
    polysemy poly/many semy/sign - many meanings

    the difference between homophone and polysemy is that homophones may have the same sound but mean something different.
    Polysemies may have different meaning for the same word.
    And this is a big difference between those two
    e.g for polysemy "set the clock" and "a set of ideas"
    e.g for homophones "me TOO, I have TO go at TWO O'clock"

    cheers

  8. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #8

    Re: Too Many Homophones

    Quote Originally Posted by Photon Guy View Post
    Much like the words "soda" and "pop"

    How exact are these as synonyms? You can buy soda water, but I have never seen pop water.

  9. probus's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Too Many Homophones

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    How exact are these as synonyms? You can buy soda water, but I have never seen pop water.
    Fair enough, but soda and pop are exactly synonymous in AmE. The preferred usage varies by region, but everyone understands both.

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