random brain dribbles of a nurse, novelist, and ninja enthusiast

Fun With Words: Hemmingway and Homophones

Today, I bring to you two separate challenges.

Challenge one: The homograph/homophone challenge

If you’re wondering what the above cartoon has to do with homophones and homographs then read on.

Homophones– words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings.

Homographs– words which are spelled the same, but have different meanings.

These similarities can often lead to some common mistakes found everyday. Probably the most common example of a homophone involves the words too, two, and to. You can have too much of something or you can go to the store for exactly two items. The above cartoon provides an example of both a homophone (spelled differently and sound the same) and a homograph (spelled the same and have different meanings): seminal (pertaining to or consisting of semen), seminal (containing seeds of later development) and Seminole (a type of Native American indigenous to Florida). Clearly, the Seminole above has a seminal work involving seminal fluid. Some other fun sentences with homophones include:

The pole dancer went to the polls to overturn a vote attempting to prevent the construction of a new strip club in her neighborhood.

You’re talking about the days of yore with your kids.

One should never put caulk on their cock.

or a cock homograph relating to morning wood…

When the cock crows, I wake up, but sometimes when my cock grows, I also wake up.

Clearly, homophones can make for hours of fun, but let’s see how well you can do with your own by posting in the comments below or on my Facebook stream.

Challenge Two: The Hemmingway Challenge

Like most great ideas or challenges (See: John Nash’s Game Theory and pretty much anything else involving women, competition, and alcohol) this was first presented to Hemmingway while drinking in a bar. While drinking heavily in a bar (because this is what you do in bars when you are Hemmingway) another person approached the legendary writer and challenged him to write an entire story in only six words. He took the challenge and came up with For sale: baby shoes, never worn. He considered this his best work and since this time many have adopted the challenge with some interesting results.

Here are a couple excellent ones by famous celebrities

Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.-William Shatner

machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time-Alan Moore

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.-Margaret Atwood

Today, I propose we do the same and let’s see if you can come up with your own very clever six word story.

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