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From research of dictionaries,
I've found that there is no consistent definition for 'homonym' or 'homophone'.
Some maintain that homonyms are words spelt the same but with different meanings; others state that homonyms are words that sound the same but have different meanings. And, a similar state of confusion exists with the definition of homophone (Click here for a fuller discussion on the whole topic). So, there is some room for doubt and debate concerning some words that may not be regarded as valid homonyms or homophones.
For example some people, perhaps in England or Australia, would disagree that DO, DUE and DEW sound the same; others in USA or Canada, however, would have no problem.
The trio of NEW, KNEW and GNU would also present some raised eyebrows in some circles; so also the pair, AUNT/ANT.
To accommodate this thorny issue, I felt that it would be better to include such word pairs, (or triplets etc) rather than exclude them, simply because dictionaries allowed differing pronunciations.
What are definitely not included, however, are homographs - words spelt the same but sounding different.
Concerning homographs, I will risk confusing you by saying there are some exceptions in the database e.g. READ (RED) and READ (REED)! Thankfully, there are very few of those.
So, Let's Take A More Detailed Look:
There are two sections to Roger’s Reference:
The first section caters for those who often confuse certain words, abbreviations and combination words, with others. Such words sound alike, but not the same;
so they are not homophones, in the strict sense of the word.
For example, some may confuse "WHERE" and "WE'RE", the second being a shortened version of "WE ARE". Many people are continually stopped by "ITS" and "IT'S". And, of course, "AFFECT" and "EFFECT", and similar words, are continual problems for many.
Where appropriate, this section contains some homophones that are also shown in the Dictionary. For example, "HE'LL" (short for "HE WILL/SHALL") can be confused with "HEEL" and "HEAL"; so, all three appear in this list, as do selected others.
The second section - The Dictionary of Homonyms and Homophones - details all words in the database, with their meanings and cross-referenced to all other words that sound the same.
Each word in the database is listed with at least one conceptually distinct meaning.
If a word has more than one conceptually different meaning, each different meaning is listed. Hence, each homonym in the database has at least two meanings listed, but could have three or more ( SET, for example, has 16 entirely different meanings)!
Similarly, many homophones have more than one meaning (a homophone may also be a homonym with more than one distinct meaning). Just as a general point of interest, a large percentage of words in the database have more than three different meanings!
To make things clearer, let's open a new browser window and look at some sample pages (PDF).
You'll need Acrobat Reader to see the sample. If you haven't got it yet download it from this link now. It's FREE! Then come back to this page and open up the above sample.
The words are in alphabetical order (naturally), and arranged in two broad columns thus:
First, you'll see the word, in bold type.
On the same line, you will see any applicable homophones for that word.
Underneath that, there is each meaning for that word. There could be many meanings listed.
Note that I do not include any contractions such as "YOU’RE" (abbreviation of "YOU ARE"), or any other similar abbreviations for other words (e.g. "WHERE'S", "YOU’LL", "WE’LL" and such like). As noted above, such confusions are shown separately within the list of
Commonly Confused Words.
Where else will you get such a comprehesive, specialized dictionary?
Well, just click on down to get your copy of Roger’s Reference now.
Copyright © 2000-2019 Roger J Burke All rights reserved.