Sunday, July 14, 2013

Homophonia

I sort of have a thing for homophones. Your/you're and their/there/they're are annoyingly common mistakes, but I get a kick out of the ones I see less often. I came across two in last month's reading.

In Such a Pretty Fat, Jen Lancaster refers to egg yokes. I suppose one could fashion some sort of framework to keep one's eggs in line, but I suspect she really meant yolks.*

Margaret Cho made a rarer mistake describing Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Mexico in I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight:
Other penitents are more lackluster, with cardboard crucifixes and blood that is actually too-orange tempura paint...
Sometimes tempura does have an orange appearance, but surely Cho was thinking of tempera paints. That's one homophonic error I have never seen before.


* Some dictionaries say yoke is an acceptable variant of yolk, but that's just a case of so many people getting it wrong that the dictionary editors threw up their hands in defeat. It's like the idiot I overheard the other day arguing that irregardless is a word. I suppose any combination of letters can be a "word", but that doesn't make it legitimate. There are words in the dictionary that one shouldn't actually use (ain't comes to mind).

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