Updated: Aug 9, 2021
I'm sure by now we all know what happened at the U.S. Capitol yesterday. Like mine, your news feed is probably filled with mention of it.
Yesterday, a friend of mine used the word capital in her post when referring to what transpired at the Capitol. (No, I didn't correct her. That would be rude.) Her misspelling inspired this blog post, though. Thanks, friend. :)
As The Werd Nerd, I do not share my political opinions, but I, for one, welcome our new cloud people overlords. Muhaha (Don't get your knickers in a twist; it's a joke.)
What I do share as my alter ego, The Werd Nerd, is knowledge about spelling and grammar-related stuff.
You see those two words in blue and red up there? Capitol and capital? They're called homophones. There's a whole lot of them in the English language—words that sound exactly the same but have completely different meanings.
Taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Capital has the most definitions of the two:
1. of a letter : of or conforming to the series A, B, C, etc. rather than a, b, c, etc.
2. being the seat of government
3. punishable by death
There's more, such as the money-related definition of capital, which many people struggle to understand, including me:
4. a) a stock of accumulated goods especially at a specified time and in contrast to income received during a specified period
also: the value of these accumulated goods
b) accumulated goods devoted to the production of other goods
c) accumulated possessions calculated to bring in income
e) ADVANTAGE, GAIN
make capital of the situation
f) a store or supply of useful assets or advantages
wasted their political capital on an unpopular cause
Wow! One word can have so many varying definitions. Crazy!
Capitol, thankfully, only has one definition:
1. a) a building in which a state legislative body meets the dome of the state capitol
b) a group of buildings in which the functions of state government are carried out
(Don't forget to capitalize the C in Capitol. It's always capitalized.)
Here are ten more sets of homophones:
ball / bawl
I / eye
mail / male
our / hour
pair / pear
peace / piece
plain / plane
real / reel
waist / waste
walk / wok
I'm not giving you definitions for each of these words because most of them you probably know. And if you don't, you're perfectly capable of looking them up yourself.
Hey, wouldn't it be coincidental if the word homophone, or at least the word phone, was a homophone? It would make remembering what these kinds of words are called so much easier, right?
Oh wait! Look what I found!
Of course Urban Dictionary has the word fone.
If it helps to remember that words that sound the same but have different meanings are homofones—I mean homophones—I'm glad I could help.