The title of the popular grammar book and tongue-in-cheek joke about the panda that eats, shoots and leaves is a classic example of a homograph capable of functioning as verb and a noun with vastly different effects.
Words that are pronounced in the same way but differ in their meanings are called Homophones. In this case, the same word and different meaning of “shoots” changes the complexion of the sentence completely.
If you think that there are too many words in English language, remember that our dictionaries could be bigger; our language has doubled up definitions on many of its words.
On my first trip to the States (from England) I was writing something in pencil and made a mistake. So I asked a friend, right in front of her boyfriend, if she had a rubber I could use…
The comedic affects of double-entendres, puns and malapropisms have been known for centuries. In Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, the playwriting legend coined the malapropism’s alternate synonym the “Dogberryism” with the snappy dialogue of Constable Dogberry, who declares in great triumph that he has captured two auspicious men during the night watch …Continue Reading >>