Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Homophobia


No, we're talking about deviant sexual behavior, we're talking about words. I slept well and I'm feeling pretty sharp so I get through the first three words in this Jumble puzzle in quick order. But now it's time to give older son a ride to the Max, so I minimize the browser window. On the way to the train I ask older son what do you call words like rezoom and rez-oo-may? He replies with "homonyms", but then quickly amends that to "homographs", neither of which are the same as "homophones". "Homonyms" I recognize, probably from elementary school when we had a month long lesson on synonyms and homonyms. I don't think I've used "homonyms" since. So what's the diff?

  • Homonyms (also called homophones) are words that sound like one another but have different meanings. Some homonyms are spelled the same, like bark (the sound a dog makes) and bark (the outer layer of a tree trunk).
  • A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning, and may differ in spelling. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of "rise"), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two, and too. 
  • A homograph (from the Greek: ὁμός, homós, "same" and γράφω, gráphō, "write") is a word that shares the same written form as another word but has a different meaning. When spoken, the meanings may be distinguished by different pronunciations, in which case the words are also heteronyms.
So homonym and homophone mean the same thing, but homograph is the word I needed. Older son tells me that rezoom and rez-oo-may are not homographs because rez-oo-may has accent marks, kind of like John LeCarre. Who uses accent marks? He does, he grew up with a Mac, words are his speciality, and he knows the Alt codes for accent marks.

Why is the picture of the Jumble puzzle up there? Well, like I said, I was feeling pretty sharp this morning and my score reflects that. The nx symbols by each unscrambled word are score multipliers that you get for completing the puzzle quickly. Most days my multipliers are 1x, but occasionally I have a good day and I'll get a couple of 5's. Very rare to see nothing below a three.
    But how can this be? The elapsed time shows almost an hour, which is correct. I started a few minutes before 7 and ended finished sometime before 8. These multipliers fall by one every few seconds. You might notice there is no pause button. Evidently the multiplier timer is not connected to the elapsed time timer. The game is suspended when you minimize the window, but the timer keeps on keeping on, regardless.

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