Saturday, November 14, 2009

Getting bussed on the bus

While we're looking for ways to live more efficiently, we should consider cutting words out of the English-language dictionary. Think of all the trees we would save by eliminating homonyms.
Do we really need compliment and complement? One means an expression of praise and the other means something that completes or makes perfect. I bet most of you didn't even know there are two. I say we get rid of the one with the "e."
Another one we can pitch: roll and role. Totally unnecessary to have two. Would your life be worse off if you put butter on a role or had a roll in the school play?
Scull: rowing motion. Skull: your noggin. Why two? Who knows. Who nose.
I bet you didn't know this one: seel and seal. One means to sew shut or blind something, as in the eyes of falcons during their training (wish I didn't know that…). The other, seal, means "to close."
Because seal is also the name for an animal, I say we get rid of seel. Most of us didn't know about it, anyway.
Storey and story. Storey, as defined by says:
  1. a: the space in a building between two adjacent floor levels or between a floor and the roof; b: a set of rooms in such a space; c: a unit of measure equal to the height of the story of a building (one story high).
  2. a horizontal division of a building's exterior not necessarily corresponding exactly with the stories within.
Anyone get the difference between story and storey as it pertains to buildings? Me neither. Raise your hand if you vote to eliminate "storey," which my automatic spell checker keeps correcting to "story" as I type this? It's settled.
How about counsel and council? One means an adviser, and the other means a group of leaders. I'm totally cool with getting rid of counsel.
Stationary or stationery? Principal or principle? Who cares?
One last one: capital and capitol. One means "most important" and the other is the center of government. We could argue that they are close enough in meaning that only one is necessary. My vote goes to the one with the "a."
By the way, "buss" means to kiss, and "bus" means, well you know what that means. So when you see a sign at your child's school that reads: "School busses only," what that means is "school kisses only." The plural of "bus" is "buses."


R!chard said...

Shakespear would be so dull without the pun! Hamlet without the homonym would be a tragedy!

Phyllis Bernel said...

I have felt this way for YEARS, Noelle (or should I say Noel?). Why do we have THREE two's/too's/to's? Stationary/stationery? dough/doe? And it goes on and on. Let's fix this right/rite now.

Slim Smith said...

To quote notorious our most rustic president, Andrew Jackson: "It's a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word!''

Slim Smith said...

previous message should have read "our most notoriously rustic president...''