Are Limriddles based on homographs?

August 7, 2020

And what are homophones, homonyms and heteronyms?

I know. You’ve been dying to know what these things are!  Truth is, the definitions are tricky because there are a number of overlaps and not all linguists use the same definitions.  But here goes…

Homographs are two or more words spelled the same, but not necessarily pronounced the same, and have different meanings. So, dive (into the pool) and dive (a cheap motel) are homographs that sound the same.  But dove (the bird) and dove (past tense of dive) are homographs that are pronounced differently. Think of homo (meaning same) and graph (meaning written).

Homophones are words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of spelling. So dive and dive are homophones, but so are their and there. Think of homo (meaning same) and phone (meaning sound).

Homonyms go by more than one definition. The broader definition includes words that are homographs (share the same spelling, regardless of pronunciation) or homophones (words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of spelling), or both.

Heteronyms are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings and different pronunciations. So, in the example above, dove (bird) and dove (in the pool) are both heteronyms and homographs.

As you’ve probably surmised, the Limriddler uses homographs.  Most of these are homonyms and homophones, but occasionally he sneaks in a heteronym to mess with you.

Got it?


The Limriddler

Hiya! I’m the Limriddler. That’s right – the mysterious man behind the mask, embroiled in the dark underworld of idioms, homographs, rhymes and linguistic espionage. Truth is that without the mask I’m more nerd than supervillain. But I’ll torment you with tests of knowledge, logic, lateral thinking and even humour, all packed into a five-line Limriddle. And all you have to do is identify one word – how hard can that be?
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