Tag Archives: grammar and style


“homophone (noun): Words having the same pronunciation but not the same origin, spelling or meaning, e.g., ‘peace’ and ‘piece.’ Adjective: homophonic, homophonous; adverb: homophonically; noun: homophony.

‘The coat of arms of the Shakespeare family, which shows its crest eagle shaking a spear, is a kind of pun weakened by etymology, but when Joyce calls Shakespeare—very justly—”Shapesphere” he has gone step further than homophony or homonymy. By changing two consonants he has interfered minimally with the shape of the name and enormously expanded its connotation.’ Anthony Burgess, Joysprick


“Annotation (noun): An explanatory of critical note accompanying a text; gloss; authorial or scholarly comment. Adj. annotative, annotatory; n. annotator; v. annotate

‘What do you expect me to do? Go into a monastery? Or spend the rest of my life keeping up with your precious cult—editing and annotating and explaining you, until people get sick of the sound of your name?’ Christopher Isherwood, The World in the Evening”

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

Word Root Exercise: Meso

While the words that spring from it are mostly technical in nature, here, nonetheless, if you can use it, is a worksheet on the Greek word root meso; it will most likely show up in the noun Mesoamerica or the adjective Mesoamerican in most classrooms. In any case, it means middle.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.