Frowning Face

Making it to the end of this essay is enough to wipe the smile off any face.

I think I missed a week of blogging. I recently found a publisher for my book, and I’ve been going back and forth with a consultant, establishing a portal so we can start the editing process. That means carefully proofing two dozen chapters containing some 93,000 words and rounding up photos to illustrate the true crime manuscript. That’s my excuse from bringing back a newspaper column I wrote a few years back about three homos. Before you cancel me from your culture, I’m talking about homonyms, homophones and homographs.

I must confess that I got the idea for this column several years back from an email from a friend who regularly shares odd, strange and curious stuff he discovers on the internet. It’s not that I’m stealing the idea, because I’ve written my share of columns about the crazy, sometimes confusing, English language. It’s a quick read and it addresses the linguistic nuances of the aforementioned trio, starting with homonyms, which are words that are spelled the same, are often pronounced the same but have different meanings. Then there are homophones, which are pronounced the same but different in spelling AND meaning. Finally, there are homographs, which are usually spelled the same but are pronounced differently.

So I thought it might be fun (for me at least) to scramble them all up over the next dozen or so paragraphs and see how it all comes out. If it becomes too much of a strain for my aging mind, if you don’t mind, you can drop out and pop a couple of aspirin. In other words, you will never know if I ultimately said no to this column topic, whether I was able to weather this challenge or if I was right to write this in the first place.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve started already. It looks like I’m due to do this. So here goes, you hear?

I confess I knew this was nothing new, but that doesn’t lessen the lesson at hand. Perhaps I should brake in this effort now and give all of you a break. I try to produce a blog every week, weak or worthwhile, and I hope you will bear with me as I bare my soul and limited vocabulary. Kindly resist a groan at the misguided efforts of a grown man.

Do not band against me and call for this commentary to be banned. And if you don’t like this piece, depart in peace. Don’t be seen making a big scene about it. Steel your resolve to keep on reading no matter how many words I steal in my attempt not to waste a single hour of our time, even a minute, which is more minute.

If you were allowed to read this aloud, it might be more entertaining, too— at least for a minute or two if you really wanted to. Some might decide the sum of all this wordplay will wear thin wherever you may be. There may be an occasional hole in the logic of this whole experiment, but here’s hoping you buy this by the end.

I may have to sneak a peek at a thesaurus to bring this essay to a peak, even if I have to cite the first internet site in sight to do it. Just picture a pitcher drinking a pitcher of beer to celebrate a no-hitter and you’ll understand how I’ll feel if readers don’t object to the object of this column.

Yes, some of the wording is a bit coarse, but I’m right on course to meet my goal of getting to the meat of my point, if I may point that out. Please don’t wring your hands in alarm if this idea doesn’t ring true, because I have my eye on the finish line. Like a baker, I have no more need to knead the dough after he sticks the breadsticks in the oven.

The season is about to change and it won’t be long before we we spring into spring, then fall into fall, and not long after that comes Halloween where trick-or-treaters will have us guessing which witch is which. I admit I’m pressing here, so let’s sew this up with the following nonsensical observations:

Serial killers shouldn’t eat cereal.

A sunglasses’ seller should stay out of the dark cellar.

Don’t crane your neck looking up at a construction crane.

Wasn’t that a saw I saw in your workshop?

Don’t look directly at the sun, son.

The preacher is wholly holy.

Do pears come in pairs?

It’s not polite to stare up at ladies in skirts climbing the stair.

Is it possible for a blind bat to bat his eyes?

Why don’t they call a mailman a mailmale?

Is a match a match for a lighter?

Was the Gettysburg Address delivered at a street address?

Is all well at the bottom of a well? Well?

Is it possible to stalk a cornstalk in a stockyard?

Please file past the file cabinet.

The boxer didn’t have much left to his left or his roundhouse by the fifth round.

And that’s about all I have left, with, by my count, at least 70 sets of homonyms, homophones and homographs. Then again, I’m too confused to count them, and I may have passed that number in the recent past.