Concerning confusonyms

No one cares about confusonyms. Synonyms and antonyms get all the glory. We study them in school. We learn long lists of them. Everybody knows that the antonym of synonym is antonym. Even their slightly annoying cousin, the homonym, is a bigger star in the linguistic universe. I mean, isn’t it obvious what the difference between ‘bare’ and ‘bear’ is without having a word to describe the concept? (Note: if you don’t understand the difference then you should probably avoid the woods.)

How come the confusonym doesn’t get any love? It is the rarest of the -nyms. Practically mythic. If it were an animal it would definitely be a cryptid. It has a much more subtle definition than a word that means the same thing as another word. That’s boring. Dull. Tedious. Humdrum.

Unlike the confusonym, which rocs [sic]!

Confusonym n. a word that is mistaken for another word due to identical spelling with the exception of one letter.

One measly letter. That’s all it takes to change everything. For example, leech and leach. One is a slimy bloodsucking parasite and one is a boring verb that means to remove stuff from other stuff by filtering a liquid through it. If you don’t think there’s a big difference between the two words then I recommend you watch the leach scene in Stand By Me. I’m sure Wil Wheaton would have much preferred it to be a leech scene.

Oops. I just confused my confusonyms.

2016.03.21 | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Concerning confusonyms

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