Thursday, September 18, 2014

WotD: Wind

Today's Word of the Day (WotD) has many of us in the office perplexed. It seems to be a simple word, and initially I believed it to be a simple homonym, however that is not the case.
The word is wind.
How did you pronounce it?  
You could have said it two different ways:
The wind seems to be blowing fiercely today.
I need to wind my watch so that it keeps accurate time.
See the difference?  Of course you do.  There are several examples like this in the English language, but let's stick to our example.
When you Google the word it is like you arrived a few minutes late.  You look around the room and realize that Chuck Norris was here before you.  He happened to be in a bad mood and he took it out on the word wind.

You will notice that under the definition of the word, used as a verb and a noun, you will find that you can click to see more definitions.  Eventually you can find the definition you are looking for.  I was looking for wind, as in they were winding their way through the forest.
Not only did I find the many definitions and uses of the word fascinating, but I found it peculiar that Google Boy never rendered a pronunciation.  Is he not allowed to pronounce a word in more than one way?  This remains a mystery at this point, one which could easily be resolved by looking up other heteronyms, but I simply don't have the time for that right now.  In fact I have taken far too long to type out this post.  I have other, more important, pressing matters at stake right now.  
Hmmm, stake, steak...
Anyway, that brings us to the other point concerning today's WotD, it is a heteronym.  A heteronym is defined as: 
each of two or more words that are spelled identically but have different sounds and meanings, such as tear meaning “rip” and tear meaning “liquid from the eye.”

Google Boy will pronounce heteronym, if you'd like him to.
I don't remember learning about heteronyms in school, but I am sure we must have. Unfortunately for them, they don't get the spotlight like homonyms and synonyms (those two words have unique spellings, don't they?)  Ask your kids if they know what a heteronym is. Don't have kids?  Go find one wandering around on the street or at WalMart, ask them.
Hope you all enjoy your Word of the Day.  I'm outta here.
PS.  I am thinking about contacting Chuck Norris to go over to Google Boy's house and beat the pronunciation of the word wind out of him.  He's got some nerve not pronouncing wind.  Fyi... he will pronounce pronounce and pronunciation for you, if you so desire. 

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