A homophone is a word that is pronounced in the same way as another word, but has a different meaning and may be spelt differently. They can cause writers, and in turn their readers, confusion.
One common example of this is ‘there’, ‘their’ and they’re’. Since I’ve been editing I’ve been surprised by how many people get this wrong. It isn’t always that a writer doesn’t know the difference, but often the wrong word has been used accidently and just hasn’t been picked up. But if you use the wrong version in your published book, readers will think you don’t know what you’re talking about (there’s another one – your and you’re) and will lose their trust in you and your book.
So, just in case:
- there – refers to a place or is used with the verb to be: ‘There is a lion in the zoo; look, it’s over…
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