Sexy Birthday Homonyms: stationary & stationery

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It’s week three of the Sexy Grammarian’s birthday month of homonyms. My sexy example sentences guarantee you will never use the wrong word again! Here’s today’s:

Use the adjective stationary for something that stays still, as in:

 I tied him to the only stationary object in the room: the bed.

Use the noun stationery to write a letter, as in:

I inhaled her perfume on the stationery and read the naughty note again.

What is a homonym? Generally speaking, homonyms are any words that sound the same but have different meanings. Read more about homonyms, homophones, and homographs on Wikipedia, and check out this exhaustive homonym list.

Come back tomorrow for brand new homonyms and sexy example sentences. Subscribe to make sure you never miss another Sexy Grammar lesson. Write to me for private lessons via Skype or in person.

    • Liza
    • September 21st, 2011

    What about vendor and vender? When there’s no semantic difference, (and there are other “occupational” nouns like that) I’ve seen both, in American texts, and am wondering if -or is more British and is being slowly phased over to a more American -er.

    Also, I’d like to register an objection to the homonym/homophone list, for plenty of people E of California, “acts” and “ax(e)” sound different, as do the (commonly sited triad) Mary, merry, and marry. It’s a regional difference, but it’s pretty strong in those not-insignifican regions, like England 🙂

    • Liza, I’m thrilled to have your comments. I think you’re right about those occupational nouns. Do you think we have more words in transition as English becomes an even more globally used language?

      As for your objection, I’m a little confused. Do you object to Mary/merry/marry or axe/acts being considered homonyms? If the test is, “does it sound the same?” then a homonym list must be dynamic among regions, and I think that’s just fine.

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