Ode to Homophones
Mrs. Grammar Person’s Ode to Homophones
When I give my assent, it means I concur, but my rapid ascent means I fly like a bird. (I just love homophones, don’t you?)
I compliment you when I say something kind, like your meal is superb and complements the wine. (Unless, of course, your food is talking to your wine, then you’ve had too much to drink.)
News that is current is fresh and brand new, but if I give you a currant, I have a raisin for you. (Warm cinnamon buns with raisins—yum!)
A cursor is the arrow on your computer screen, a curser likes swearing to say what he means. (He won’t be invited to my tea party, I assure you.)
When you’re discreet, there are no news releases, but when you’re discrete, you’ve gone all to pieces. (Try to keep it together, either way.)
If you need help, you should elicit advice; but for something illicit, you should always think twice. (Or maybe thrice…)
A flair is a talent you can boast about, but when tempers flare, you’d better watch out. (Some people do have a flair for drama.)
A hanger will keep your clothes wrinkle-free; a hangar is where your airplane should be. (At least that’s where I keep mine.)
A hearty meal is filling and good, but a hardy lumberjack can chop lots of wood. (He’ll be ready for that hearty meal.)
When something is humorous, you’re having a ball, but when you injure your humerus it’s not funny at all. (I’d rather laugh than cry, wouldn’t you?)
When you incite trouble, you’re said to foment, but have an insight and it’s a eureka moment.(A nice thought bubble beats causing trouble)
Someone who knits makes something cozy and nice, but someone with nits is infested with lice. (Heavens! I feel itchy just thinking about it.)
A maze made of maize is hard to navigate, but maize on a cob means there’s corn on your plate. (Pass the butter, please.)
A medal of honor is something you win, but meddle (the verb) means you like to butt in. (I only meddle when grammar is at stake.)
A wave of my hand says ‘good-bye my friend’, but I wouldn’t waive a chance to visit again. (Adieu, mon ami!)
Thank you, Mrs. Grammar Person, for visiting Editing Pen and allowing us to use your delightful words!
The Chicago Manual of Style has so many delightful rules. I’m here to use them and my handy broom to sweep through your manuscript and fix errors in punctuation, spelling, sentence phrasing, dangling things, hyphens, em dashes, and verb tense agreement. And oh, so much more!
Line editing is fun!
Things to look for
Click open a tab for descriptions.
Are the sentences in your paragraphs all the same length? Is there enough construction variety, or do you have all clause-comma-clause sentences?
Compounds and Hyphens
I’ll go through and correct hyphens such as making sure mid-morning is midmorning and half asleep is half-asleep.
Magazines, titles, songs, books, newspapers. I’ll make sure your Movie Titles are italicized and “Song Titles” are in quotes.
Commas, smart vs. curly quotes, question marks placement, ellipses usage, em vs. en dashes, hyphens, digit vs. spelled numbers, speech tags, percent usage, spaces and tabs, etc.
Spelling and Grammar
Do you have wear when it should be where? I’ll also look for the times when the same word each time is used too many times in the same paragraph all the time.
We know that spell-check doesn’t catch everything. I’ll find when hi should be his or the is supposed to be they. I’ll make sure your past tenses are in the past, subjects and verbs happily agree, and adverbs and adjectives are properly connected.
Does Becky Sue have green eyes in chapter one but somehow has blue eyes in chapter four? Did your murderer use a jade knife, but the detective found the ivory-handled blade in a later chapter? Did Becky Sue have her back to the door while waving goodbye but somehow reached forward to turn the knob? Was your main character born in Akron but later on tells everyone it’s Arkon?