Friday, December 18, 2009

Words, words, words

You made it through finals, now you can think about something fun (when you are ready to think again, that is.) So I am ready to think about words. Traveling the web I run across a lot of them and they are critical for searching the web.

The only problem is the English language. Too many words have multiple meanings or can have two totally different meanings depending upon context. These are know as heteronyms. So when I search for "china" am I looking for information about the country or dishes? A list of other heteronyms is at Fun With Words (see, I am not the only one).

Don't get heteronyms confused with homonyms (I did). Homonyms (also known as homophones) are words that sound the same but spelled differently (like cereal and serial). For online searching, we just need to make sure we spell these correctly. More examples of homonyms are here .

Why should you care? It has to do with search engine choice. Stay tuned for that explanation coming in the new year.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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