Homonyms are a source of confusion for many writers. They also endlessly confuse school children and those who donít know the English language very well. Other languages also have homonyms, so English isnít the only language made confusing by them.
Ante and auntie
Ante is a term familiar to anyone who plays poker or places bets of any kind. It is a monetary bet on the outcome of a game.
Gerard greedily eyed the large ante and seriously considered how much he should add to it.
An auntie is the sister of either your mother or your father.
My auntie took me to the zoo.
Arc and ark
An arc is part of a circle.
Joannaís geometry homework was to find the measurement of the arc.
An ark is a huge boat.
God instructed Noah to build an ark.
Ascent and assent
An ascent is a climb.
The steep ascent made the mountain nearly impossible to climb.
An assent is an agreement.
Much to the speakerís surprise, every hand in the auditorium raised in assent.
Ate and eight
Alright, so this is probably one that you are familiar with. Anyway, ate is the past tense of eat.
Melinda ate a chopped sirloin sandwich.
Eight is the number 8 written in the form of a word.
Eight snowballs hit Jessica in the back as she ran across the playground.
Auger and augur
An auger is a tool used for boring.
Joe used an auger to bore through the earth and find water.
An augur is a prophet or soothsayer.
The augur was visited constantly by those wanting to know their future.
Aught and ought
Aught means anything.
For aught I know, the trip will be worth the effort.
Ought means should.
Mary ought to study for her test.
Aural and oral
Aural is an adjective that describes something to do with the sense of hearing.
The aural capabilities of canines are far greater than the aural capabilities of humans.
Oral means spoken with the mouth.
Monica is scheduled to give an oral presentation on how to properly brush your teeth.
Auricle and oracle
The auricle is the outer part of your ear.
Jasmineís auricle was heavily decorated with earrings of various shapes and sizes.
An oracle is a prophet or seer.
The visiting oracle told Melody things that no one should have known, things she had kept a secret between herself and God.
Several of these homonyms surprised me; I had been pronouncing them the wrong way. Maybe I need to check the pronunciation of words, as well as their meaning, more often.