Monday, April 13, 2015

English is a sloppy language

English has many examples of words that are spelled quite differently from one another but that have a similar sound when spoken, and that mean nearly the same thing.

Here are some examples:

bang and clang
bind and bond
blare and glare
burble, bubble, gurgle, and gargle
chock and chuck
cinch and clinch
clap and clop
click and clack
dandle and dangle
dank and damp
dribble and drizzle
elegant and eloquent
flip, flap, flop, plop, and glop
foundering and floundering
gabbing, gabbling, and babbling
hank and hunk
harping and carping
hiccough and hiccup
jabber and jibber, and gibberish and blabber
ketchup and catsup
persnickety and pernickety
pratfall and pitfall
prick up your ears, perk up your ears, and pick up your ears
pronking and pronging
sassy and saucey
sled and sledge
slob and slop
sniff and snuff
snip and snap
snooty, snotty, and snouty

Jules Berman

tags: synonyms, synonymy, language, spelling, orthography, pleionyms, plesionymy, onomatopoeia, wordplay, writing