Today’s Mirriam-Webster word of the day is homonym.

It’s a noun, two of it’s definitions are “homophone” and “homograph” which made me laugh ridiculously as they are the worst definitions in history. Like when they define a verb like “ride” as “the act of riding.”

Anyway, homonyms. Well just a quick FYI, a homonym is a word with multiple definitions (or more accurately, one of several words that are spelled and pronounced alike but have different meanings, but that’s just silly to think of it that way).

So ride could be the verb “to sit and travel on the back of another object” as well as the noun “a pimp ass car.”

I have heard complaints at times that English, the American version in particular, is one of the hardest languages to learn because of our overabundance of homonyms. At the time I remembered thinking “oh well, why do we do that? we could have come up with more words couldn’t we?” as well as “well then it’s a good thing I already know English.”

But now I’m thinking something more like “I’m glad that we do this. Because it is sufficient proof that words aren’t as important as context, that a particular string of syllables aren’t as important as the inflection we attribute to them, that language is not a rigid stone, but it is more like a rigid stone thrown into a puddle. The stone will have measurable, quantitative properties that will only be altered slightly over long periods of time, but the effect that it has upon hitting the water will be different each time.”

So the stone is our words, our grammar and spelling and rules as to whether or not “its” should have an apostrophe. But language is the water, rippling out over the entire surface of the proverbial culture lake to affect all things within it.

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