More Curiosities of the English Language

 In Cultural Immersion, Learn English

The curse of the homonym:

Words that sound alike and mean something different are called HOMONYMS, but they might as well be called “crazymakers”. They make it pretty hard to even find a small piece of peace, even for those of us who are pros on prose.

If you really want to drive an English newbie crazy, tell them they are not “allowed” to speak “aloud” because their “aunt” is upset about the “ants” in her apartment left behind by a “boarder” who was visiting from across the “border”.

The joy of syntactic ambiguity:

In any language, it’s important to say what you mean, but what if the sentence you wrote can have more than one meaning based on how the reader interprets it? For example: the most popular example is probably from the Ray Davies song “Lola”, which states “I’m glad I’m a man, and so is Lola”. We don’t know if Lola is also glad that the singer is a man, or if Lola is a
man and the singer is glad about it. We guess the only important thing is that everyone in the song is happy.

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