[BlogEntry] Ok, I'm wrong, fine. Let's move on.

The other night we're over the neighbors for dinner and playing the "Do you know how smart my 7yr old is?" game. I don't love that game. "Do you guys know what a homophone is?" the neighbor asks.

I honestly try to remember. She didn't say homonym, which I know. She said homophone. I take a guess that it's a word that has multiple meanings depending on the pronunciation (like read as in REED, versus read as in RED). "Nope," says the 7yr old, "It's two words that are spelled different, but sound the same. Like meet and meat."

"Then what's a homonym?" I ask.

He thinks about this and says, "They're the same thing."

I shake my head at that. That can't be right. So as casually as possible I pull out the cell phone, open up a web browser and go googling for it.

Sure enough, kid's right. Homophone and homonym mean the same thing. When the hell did THAT happen?

By the way, the word I was thinking of was "heteronym."

Update: You know, it's actually more complicated than this. Maven's Word of the Day tells me that homonym is the superclass to which both homophone and homograph belong. Specifically, a homonym is supposed to be spelled and pronounced the same (such as "grizzly bear" and "bear witness"). A homophone is what the neighbor said – sound the same, spelled differently. Interestingly a homograph is the thing I was thinking of, spelled the same but pronounced differently, like "I object to that large object."

Apparently a heteronym is a particular type of homonym where the word has to have an entirely different meaning. So I'm guessing that this means "I will read the book" and "I have read the book" would be a homograph but not a heteronym. "Look for minute details for the next minute" would be a heteronym. I think.