Homophones

Today’s Bizarro:

An ingenious proposal, based on homosexual (slang homo) and the ‘sound’ element –phone. But note that the student would have had to hear the “two words that sound … but are really …” definition of homophone to produce his answer.

(In the real world, errors involving homophone and homophobe, with substitutions in both directions, are moderately common.)

 

2 Responses to “Homophones”

  1. The Ridger Says:

    I stared at that for a while and really think that “A word that sounds…” is the only possible answer.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Good point. The teacher asks the question in one form but gets an answer in another. But in real life I hope the teacher would accept the answer “Two words that sound the same”, rather than insisting on parallelism in form (“A word that sounds the same as another word”). That is, I hope the teacher would accept an answer that recognizes the point of the question, rather than treating the exchange as an exercise in grammar.

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