Many a person has stumbled over “there,” “their,” and “they’re.” It happened to us several weeks ago when, in our Hometown Story, a distinguished Fairport “Principal” became a “principle.” Words like these are called homophones. They sound the same, but are spelled differently AND have different meanings.
Below are twenty words which trouble even the most fastidious of writers. Circle the correct one of each sound-alike pair of words. Count one point for each correct word chosen to see if you’re a Novice, a Learner, a Word Whiz or a Walking Dictionary!
1. The new medication I’m taking hasn’t affected/effected me the way the doctor thought it would.
2. Campaigning politicians frequently make illusions/allusions to the failures of their competitors.
3. Among/Between the three of us, Marjorie is the most trustworthy.
4. My father asked me to take/bring the trash to the curb.
5. “What a lovely dog!” said Sarah, paying her friend a compliment/complement.
6. When life confuses me, I seek my grandmother’s wise council/counsel.
7. Dinner doesn’t interest Johnny, but dessert desert certainly does!
8. To trick the opposing team, the wide receiver must faint/
feint left before running right.
9. The farther/further into the wilderness you go, the harder it will be.
10. If you have less / fewer patience, wait in less/fewer lines.
11. I think you will find the park statues quite stationery/stationary.
12. Healthful/Healthy exercise is part of an active lifestyle.
13. It wasn’t easy for me to immigrate/emigrate from Portugal.
14. Be careful not to waste time like/as your classmates do.
15. The vendor sold her wares/wears in the village market.
16. Things aren’t always what they seam/seem.
17. Don’t cite/sight/site the safety code for this cite/sight/site to me; my cite/sight/site is just fine!
18. The blood ran cold through his vains/veins.
19. Wrap the rope around the young boy’s waste/waist and pull him to safety.
20. Do you have the rite/right/write to call yourself a wordsmith?