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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Homonyms -- What Are They?

Homonyms, or homophones, are words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings. They are usually spelled differently.
- from the RHL School website

To go along with Tara's post on the "The Transcriptionist's Mentality" I thought I'd post about one of the things that can really set a good transcriptionist apart from a poor transcriptionist: homonyms. I can't even begin to explain how frustrating it is to proof a transcript where people have incorrect words scattered randomly throughout. Tara's pet peeve is affect vs. effect, and one of mine, if I have to choose, is their vs. they're. Wikipedia has a detailed explanation of different kinds of homonyms and how to distinguish them all.

Knowing the difference between word meanings and which word is appropriate in the context of your transcript is key. This means you need to be focused on the topic you are transcribing and aware of the context. It also means you need to be aware of the different spelling and meaning possibilities connected to the word you hear.

Here is an incomplete list of homonyms that begin with the letter A:

actsthe process of doing something, things that have been done, a book in the Bible
axa sharp, steel tool
adan advertisement
addto find the sum
adea beverage (Gatorade, lemonade)
aidto assist
aidean assistant
aeriea bird's nest and an underwear line from American Eagle
aeroaerodynamic, used to explain aircraft
arrowmissile with pointed shaft
affectto have an influence on, feeling
effecta result
ailto feel ill
alefermented alcoholic beverage
airthe sky; colorless, odorless, gaseous mixture of nitrogen and oxygen
errto make an error
heira person who will inherit
aislepassageway between a row of seats
islesmall island
allrepresenting the total amount, number or quantity
awla pointed hand tool
allowedto have let happen
altarelevated structure used in religious ceremonies
alterto change
antsmall insect
auntsister of one's father or mother
antepreliminary bet, price to be paid
auntiesister of one's father or mother -- slang
arcshaped like a curve or arch
arka large boat, a shelter or refuge
ascentthe upward climb
atepast tense of eat
eightcardinal number equal to 7+1
auralrelating to the ear
oralspoken rather than written, relating to the mouth
awedin a state of wonder/reverence
awefulfilled with awe
offalgarbage, refuse
ayeaffirmative vote
eyeorgan of vision
Iused to refer to oneself