Some homographs and their proximity in meaning [Archives:2004/762/Education]

August 9 2004

By Abdulkhaliq Mohammed Obad
Mobile: 71650703
[email protected]
and Ahmed Ameen Al-Madhaji

Dept. of English,
Faculty of Arts
Sana'a University

There are words which are homographous; that means these words have either the same pronunciation or the same spelling, as well as similar meanings. For instance, the following pairs of words are broadly synonymous. Some of these words can be used interchangeably.

1. fame, name
Both of these words mean reputation; the secondary meaning of the word 'name' is fame.
– Everyone wants to rise to fame.
– The firm has a name for good workmanship.

2. plot, lot
Both of these words mean a piece of ground; plot mans a piece of ground usually small, and the word 'lot' means plot of land or ground; lot can be large or small.
– Sami has a building plot in Hadda
– Samir has turned his vacant lot to playground.

3. hostel, hotel, motel
Both of these words indicate the same place, but there is a slight difference between them.
hostel: a building in which board and lodging are provide (with the support of the authorities concerned) for students, work men in training, etc Ex. He is in the Youth hostel.
hotel: building where meals and rooms are provided for travelers. Ex. When we went to Aden, we stayed at a hotel.
motel: motorists' hotel (with cabins self-service restaurants, service stations.) Ex. I like to a bide at a motel.

4. prattle, rattle, tattle
Both of these words indicate the same action, but there is a slight difference.
prattle: to talk continuously about silly things. Ex. What is Salim prattling on about?
rattle: talk, say, or repeat something quickly in a thoughtless way. Ex. The boy rattled off the poem he had memorized.
tattle: chatter, gossip, utter word idly. Ex. John is tattling about Muna.

5. rough, tough
Both of the two words are adjectives, they can be understood separately.
rough: not calm or gentle, moving or acting violently. Ex. He is a rough child.
tough: (of person) rough and violent. Ex. A tough customer.

6. convoke, invoke
Both of the words indicate the same action; they can be comprehended separately.
convoke: to ask people to come together for formal meeting. Ex: The president is going to convoke parliament.
invoke: to ask help from someone more powerful than you, especially from God. Ex. Believers invoke the mercy of God.