Tag Archives: homophones

Term of Art: Homonymic Clash

“homonymic clash: A clash between two homonyms, either of which could be used in similar contexts. A classic example is a posited clash in parts of southwest France between a word gat ‘cat’ derived from Latin cattus, and an identical form gat ‘cock,’ predicted by regular processes of sound change from Latin gallus. In fact, the second was replaced by other forms that changed or extended their meaning: faisan, historically ‘pheasant,’ vicaire ‘curate,’ and others. The explanation, proposed by Gillieron, is that these replacements avoided the misunderstandings that the clash would often have caused.”

Excerpted from: Matthews, P.H., ed. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Lightening, (pp), Lightning (n)

If I were to guess, I would say that the present participle of to lighten, lightening, is not much used in everyday discourse. That said, I heard a report earlier this summer on NPR about how the  Black Lives Matter movement in the United States has inspired a discussion about colorism and skin lightening potions in India, where apparently colorism runs rampant. Also, if you ever teach Julia Alvarez’s superb novel In the Time of the Butterfliesit makes at least one specific reference to relatively well-known fact that the dictator of the Dominican Republic from from 1930 to 1961, Rafael Trujillo, used skin-lightening cream and was, unsurprisingly, a virulent racist who slaughtered thousands of Haitians in the infamous Parsley Massacre. In fact, there is even a Wikipedia page on Colorism in the Caribbean if you are interested.

Such are the wages, I’m afraid, of the valorization and privileging of white skin.

So, this set of five worksheets on the homophones lightening and lightning might be more of an exercise in ensuring students understand what the lightning is as a meteorological and electrical phenomenon and how properly to spell the word. Still, there is room in these worksheets for fooling around with the verb to lighten, used both intransitively and transitively.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

Rack (n, v), Wrack (n,v)

Alright, continuing with recently finished projects, here are five worksheets on the homophones rack and wrack used, in both cases, as nouns and verbs. Both of these words are complicated in their usage, and in fact rarely used in their full range of meanings–which is probably why I never finished this several years ago when I was developing a series of homophone worksheet.

In any case, in these worksheets, both words are used as nouns and verbs. Rack, as a verb, is used both intransitively and transitively; wrack as a verb is used only transitively and really has only one meaning: “to utterly ruin : WRECK.”

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

Passed (v/pt), Past (adj)

OK, from the back of the Text Terminal, here are five worksheets on the homophones passed (past tense of the verb pass) and past (used as an adjective.) This is another one of those things lying around unfinished. I’ll bet you’ve taught a student or two who confused these two words, so this ought to have some utility somewhere, I guess.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

Precedence (n), Precedents (n/pl)

If the past almost five months have served any purpose at Mark’s Text Terminal, they have given me the time to walk out to the back corners of the warehouse here, set up some floodlights, and see what products were forgotten and have, if you’ll allow me to take this metaphor one step further, gone past their expiration date.

So far, I’ve found quite a bit of perfectly serviceable material. In fact, I plan to start developing a unit on summarizing and paraphrasing, and another that will be an expansion of a couple of units on writing sentences that are themselves still unfinished. I’ve also found some stuff of dubious value, but that was far enough along that I decided to finish it.

These five homophone worksheets on the nouns precedence and precedents are one example. These actually started as a single English usage (Paul Brian’s book Common Error in English Usage) from a passage in  worksheet, but I decided I’d rather have them as homophone worksheets and so rewrote them as such. Precedents, of course, is the plural of precedent–and both are good words for students to know, as is, of course, precedence.

So there you go.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

A Concluding Lesson Plan on Verbs

If you are a user of this blog, then you may know that I have been, over time, posting all the materials I’ve developed for using the parts of speech to bolster literacy. Since the COVID19 pandemic began, I’ve posted a series of lesson plans on verbs. In fact, with this post, I will have published the entire twelve-lesson unit on verbs that I used in the classroom for several years.

So, if you have accumulated the other eleven lessons, then here is the final lesson plan on verbs, the assessment, for this verbs unit. I open this lesson with this worksheet on the homophones there, their, and they’re. If this lesson continues into a second day (and you’ll see that it is almost inevitable that it will), then here is an Everyday Edit worksheet on National Poetry Month. (If you and your students like the procedural knowledge practice the Everyday Edit worksheets offer you, then you will be pleased to hear that the good people at Education World give away an entire year’s supply of these short exercises.)

Here is the worksheet that serves as a final assessment for the verbs unit posted on this blog.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

The Weekly Text, July 17, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Simple Future Tense of Verbs

This week’s Text is a lesson plan on the simple future tense of verbs. I open this lesson with this worksheet on differentiating the homophones veracious and voracious, which are both adjectives. It always pays to prepare for a lesson to spill over into a second day. So here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the concept of nuance, which is really something students ought to know before they graduate high school.

You’ll need the scaffolded worksheet that is the mainstay of this lesson to do its work. You might also find this learning support and word bank useful in presenting this lesson and completing its work. Finally, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet.

That’s it. I hope you’re staying safe and healthy.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

English Usage: Aisle, Isle

OK, here is an English usage worksheet on differentiating the use of the nouns aisle and isle. When I was writing this yesterday, I had a sense of deja vu. So I checked the archives here at the Text Terminal and sure enough, I’ve previously written five homophone worksheets on these two words.

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.

The Weekly Text, June 19, 2019

OK, as we slide into summer, I’ll be posting a bit less to work on finishing projects in development (more material on writing solid declarative sentences, among other things) as well as developing new material. For the time being, the Weekly Text returns to Mark’s Text Terminal. If, in the fall when kids normally return to school, we remain in or return to stay-at-home protocols, I’ll restore Daily Texts until circumstances change.

So, for this week’s Text, here is a lesson plan on the simple past tense of verbs. I begin this lesson after a class change with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the famous proverb “Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned” (I’ve often heard this expression attributed to Shakespeare, but it actually comes from a play by Restoration dramatist William Congreve, “The Mourning Bride“). If circumstances necessitate a second day for this lesson, then here is another do-now exercise, this one a homophones worksheet on the worksheet on the adjectives veracious and voracious. You’ll need this scaffolded worksheet which is the primary work of this lesson; you and your students might also find useful this learning support and word bank. Finally, here is teacher’s copy of the worksheet.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

The Weekly Text, June 5, 2020: A Lesson Plan on the Verb To Be

OK, things at Mark’s Text Terminal are returning to something resembling normalcy, which means I’ll return to the Weekly Text format for the big post of the week.

So, this week’s Text is a lesson plan on the verb to be used in the present progressive tense. I open this lesson with this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the idiom Bone to Pick, as in “I’ve got a bone to pick with you.” In the event the lesson spills over into a second day, here is a worksheet on the homophones prophet and profit.

You’ll need the worksheet at the center the lesson to do the work; you’ll probably also want (but you don’t necessarily need) this word bank as a learning support. Finally, here is the teacher’s copy of the worksheet.

That’s it: stay safe, be well, stand up for what’s right.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.