Too Many Homophones

Status
Not open for further replies.

Photon Guy

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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.
 

jutfrank

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
What you're describing are not homophones (words which sound the same) but polysemes (words with multiple meanings).

I agree with you, though.
 

Photon Guy

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
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/;[SUP][1][/SUP][SUP][2][/SUP] from Greek: πολυ-, poly-, "many" and σῆμα, sêma, "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"
 

Skrej

Key Member
Joined
May 11, 2015
Member Type
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
This thread is starting to sound....


wait for it....



homophobic. :silly:
 

Tdol

No Longer With Us (RIP)
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Set has dozens of meanings, but that doesn't mean there are dozens of homophones here.
 

jutfrank

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
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.
 

y4ss

New member
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Member Type
Retired Academic
Native Language
French
Home Country
France
Current Location
England
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/;[SUP][1][/SUP][SUP][2][/SUP] from Greek: πολυ-, poly-, "many" and σῆμα, sêma, "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
 

Tdol

No Longer With Us (RIP)
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
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.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top