Confusing Words Clarified: Group C; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc.
(lists of "C" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)
Three words that every student of language should understand are homonyms, synonyms, and antonyms.
Homonyms are words that sound alike, but have different meanings. Synonyms are words that are related in meaning but do not sound alike (begin and commence, for example).
Antonyms are direct opposites in meaning, as hot and cold; white and black.
With homonyms, the following set of to, too, and two are all pronounced exactly alike, but by no means are they interchangeable in writing. To be sure that you choose the correct spelling for any on these, you must know the meanings of all three so you will not make wrong choices with a feeling of vagueness and uncertainty.
Efforts have been made to help you grasp the meanings of these and other words that may be confusing so you can utilize them with greater accuracy in your communication.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome by writing to: E-mail Contact (just click it for an e-mail form) or by typing, [email protected], as the address in your e-mail heading.
If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.
When the workers were installing the new cable system in the basement, they came across a secret room where it appeared that a cabal of social advocates met.
2. The ground powder made from the seeds of a tropical tree which is mixed with milk or water and sugar to make a chocolate drink or syrup: After a long walk on a snowy day, a cup of hot cocoa tastes very delicious.
As a tourist one must be careful when buying a hot drink of cocoa which is made from the seed of the cacao tree. Don’t be tricked into buying some coca leaves from which cocaine is made.
In fact, you are probably better off if you just buy coco from the local market.
2. A place for concealment and safekeeping, as of valuables: Not trusting banks any more, Samantha's father hid his money in a cache in the family's bookcase.
The police found the caches of stolen cars in various places in the woods.3. A small fast-memory storage area in a computer that holds recently accessed data, designed to speed up subsequent access to the same data: Your computer keeps information called cache memory. As the microprocessor processes data, it looks first in the cache memory and if it finds the data there (from a previous reading of data), it does not have to do the more time-consuming reading of data from a larger memory.
Using disk cache memory speeds up computer operations, because accessing data stored in RAM (Random Access Memory) is much faster than accessing data stored on a hard drive.
Hide that cash in the cache.
Cash is a purchasing plan where you pay 100 percent down, and nothing every month from that time onward. If you have any left over, you can always put it into your cache under the mattress.
2. Disordered phonation (producing vocal sounds), articulation, or hearing resulting from emotional or mental deficits: Seth's stuttering was an example of dysphemism.
Her friend, John, was prone to using a euphemism from time to time; such as, describing himself as a musician when in fact he just hummed when he was working; however, when he was writing, he would frequently use a dysphemism; such as, "&!#@**%" (translation: "damn") instead of saying the individual was upset.
He rationalized his decisions by citing the use of cacophemism as a legitimate writer’s tool.
Either caddie or "caddy" refers to a person who carries a golfer's clubs on the golf course.
After a long day on the greens, the caddie went home and made a pot of tea, selecting his favorite tea from the antique caddy he inherited from his grandmother.
2. Colloquialism, "raising cain" or causing a violent disturbance: During recess, the students raised cain on the playground and the principal had to intervene.
2. A bamboo-like stem: Blake went out to harvest sugar cane.
In the past, a schoolmaster carried a cane which he used to cane unruly students who were raising cain in class.
A calendar is the proof that our days are numbered! It is also a system that plans its work a whole year ahead and never fails to finish on time.
Colleen's niece learned to use a calender for her paper making course. She made her aunt a wonderful calendar on which she charted the chores required during the harvest season including getting out the colander for straining the cooked tomatoes while she was making sauce.
The fisherman tried to caulk his boat before winter set in. Later he went to the blacksmith to have him calk his horse in preparation for the coming winter.
2. To give a name to someone or something: After the birth of their daughter, her parents agreed to call her Katherine after her grandmother.
One of the stories about when Claudia was born was that the doctor had to call to the nurse to be sure that the caul on her head was removed.
2. Emotionally hardened; unfeeling: Marlene had a callous indifference for the suffering of her sick neighbor.
Rudy's impatient attitude was callous towards his friend who had a painful callus on his toe.
The politician’s diet often consisted of foods with a high caloric level which unfortunately seemed to contribute to his choleric personality.
2. When this word is not capitalized, it refers to a sculptured representation of the Crucifixion, usually erected in the open air: When they approached the church, they could see the calvary that had been erected there to symbolize Christ's Crucifixion.
Wilbur and Glenda have a cavalier disregard for the rights of others in their neighborhood.
Loretta's aunt who was in the military cavalry, and was stationed in the Middle East, often told her about visiting Calvary during a special trip.
It upset her that some of the other visitors seemed to have a very cavalier attitude at the site.
2. Used to indicate that something is possible or probable: Greg mentioned, "If you work hard now, you may end up sitting in the supervisor's chair some day.
2. Used to talk about a possible condition that does not or did not actually exist: Steve said, "If you were older, you might understand what your mother is talking about."
Do you think it might be possible that I may write my examination tomorrow? I know I can study tonight and be ready by then.
2. Sometimes used figuratively: The canopy of the stars was wonderful to see.
At the reception for Heidi's friend, the caterers served lovely canapés from trays that were on the trestle tables under the canopy erected on the lawn.
The chef was very candid with his cooking staff as he admonished them to use candied violet flowers when decorating the summer cakes which they would be preparing for sale.
Confusing Words: Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs; explained and demonstrated.
"Standard English and Nonstandard English" article with a poem of confusing English words.
Confusing Words: Units, Groups A to Z.