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Homophone Potpourri Series: Part V

The English language brings with it a never-ending list of homophones, or
words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings.¹ Many spelling errors occur because of confusion between homophones, so this week's tip features a "potpourri" of homophones for your comparison.

The following definitions are excerpts from Dictionary.com. Example sentences are original content provided by Accu-Assist.

Role vs. Roll:
●   Role: a part or character played by an actor or actress. (noun)
  Example: Sarah was chosen for the lead role in the play.
 
●   Role: proper or customary function: the teacher's role in society. (noun)
  Example: In Karen's family, the traditional roles of the mother and the father have been reversed.
 
●   Roll: to move along a surface by revolving or turning over and over, as a ball or a wheel. (verb)
  Example: The children watched helplessly as their ball rolled into the busy street and was run over by a truck.
 
Wander vs. Wonder:
●   Wander: to ramble without a definite purpose or objective; roam, rove, or stray: to wander over the earth. (verb)
   Example: Curtis wandered in the wilderness searching for a path that might lead him back to civilization.
 
●   Wonder: to think or speculate curiously: to wonder about the origin of the solar system. (verb)
  Example: I wonder whether we'll receive holiday bonuses this year.
 
Weather vs. Whether:
●   Weather: the state of the atmosphere with respect to wind, temperature, cloudiness, moisture, pressure, etc. (noun)
  Example: The crisp fall weather has yet to arrive.
 
Whether: (used to introduce the first of two or more alternatives, and sometimes repeated before the second or later alternative, usually with the correlative or): It matters little whether we go or stay. Whether we go or whether we stay, the result is the same. (conjunction)
  Example: We'll be home for the holidays, whether we drive or whether we fly.
 
Whether: (used to introduce a single alternative, the other being implied or understood, or some clause or element not involving alternatives): See whether or not she has come. I doubt whether we can do any better.  (conjunction)
  Example: We haven't decided whether to sell the house.
 

Did any of these homophones take you by surprise? I'd love to hear about it! Just email me to let me know which ones were new to you.

Remember, spell-checker won't catch these words if they're used incorrectly, so be sure to add the Grammar Tips & Tidbits Archive to your bookmarks or favorites folder for future reference.

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Sources:

1. Wikipedia contributors. "Homophone." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophone (accessed October 20, 2007).

2. Dictionary.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/ (accessed October 20, 2007).