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Americanisms and Anglicisms, Homonyms and Synonyms

Enodoc April 21, 2011 User blog:Enodoc

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or The Trouble with Modern English

It is said that English is one of the most difficult languages in the world. Why? Partly because it's so different from almost everything else (except perhaps for a few other Germanic languages); and partly, if not mainly, because it is so different even from itself. Of course the most relevant and probably the most obvious difference is that which exists between American English and British English, but there is also the difference between pairs of words that sound the same and are spelt the same, but have different meanings (homonyms), pairs of words that mean the same thing but are completely different (synonyms), and pairs of similarly-spelt-and-sounding words that are derived from the same root as each other (isonyms) (not the difference between homonyms, synonyms and isonyms themselves though :)  ).

If you've read my profile or looked at a vast proportion of my edits you will know what a stickler I am for consistency. What this blog is essentially there for, therefore, is for me (and the rest of you guys if you feel like it) to explain (and ask) how and why I (or we) have come up with certain spellings for things on this wiki.


The first (and maybe the most obvious?) reason for the majority of disputable spellings on the wiki is the decision to use British English for the wiki's articles. Of course though that's only an issue for those who don't know. This was decided simply because Lionhead is English and they use British English in the games – or so we thought. A blow for consistency there.

The second reason I think disputable spellings arise is from the differences based on teaching of certain words, whether they actually follow the American/British distinctions or not. It would be interesting to hear how certain spellings of words had been introduced to different people.


Some definitions of the words (at least in the context I'm using them in)

  • Americanism – The American (en-US) version of a word
  • Anglicism – The British (en-GB) version of a word
  • Homonym – A word that sounds the same and is spelt the same as another word, but has a different meaning
  • Homophone – A word that sounds the same as another word, but has a different spelling and probably a different meaning
  • Homograph – A word that is spelt the same as another word, but has a different meaning (and maybe a different pronunciation)
  • Heteronym – A word that is spelt the same as another word, but has a different pronunciation and a different meaning
  • Heterophone – A word that sounds different and is spelt differently from another word, and has a different meaning, (like most words, which is why it is usually used in conjunction with:
    • Hom(o)eograph – A word that has a similar spelling to another word )
  • Homoiophone – A word that has a similar pronunciation to another word (not in common usage)
  • (Heterograph – Included for a sense of completion and consistency    :)     Supposedly a word spelt differently from another word and with a different meaning; essentially the same as a heterophone, so not needed, but it's not in the dictionary anyway and therefore not at all in common usage)
  • Synonym – a word with a meaning that is essentially the same as that of another word
  • Isonym – a word with a similar (if not identical) derived meaning to that of another word, which sounds the same or has a similar spelling to the other word

This section may be used to list some pairs of words, which one was chosen as a preference (if either) to use on the wiki, and perhaps some other stuff too...


DISCLAIMER: The contents of this blog and its associated comments are the sole opinions of the posters, and are not intended to cause any offence in any way.
I write this simply because sometimes I am less subtle in my opinions than I intend to be, and don't want to turn the blog into a cultural argument.

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