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August vs august

  • August and august are two words that are spelled identically but are pronounced differently and have different meanings, which makes them heteronyms. These word pairs are often misused words. Heteronyms exist because of our ever-changing English language, and these words with the same spelling and different pronunciation and meaning are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that look the same but are not pronounced the same, and how to use them in sentences, because they are easily confused. The way the pronunciations and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Phonological spelling and spelling rules do not always work, and most people avoid misspelling and misuse by studying vocabulary words from spelling lists, enhancing their literacy skills through spelling practice, and learning words in English by studying a dictionary of the English language. English words are also spelled according to their etymologies rather than their sound. For instance, the word tear meaning a liquid drop that falls from an eye is derived from the Old English word tear, meaning a drop or nectar; tear meaning to pull apart comes from the Old English word tearan, which means to lacerate. Heteronyms are confusing words and are commonly misspelled words because of the confusion that arises from words that are pronounced differently but are spelled the same and come from a different etymology. They are often used in puns and riddles. When reading, it is sometimes difficult to know which word is being used in a sentence and how to pronounce the word phonetically. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check for these commonly confused words but instead, learn to spell. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a heteronym in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Do not confuse heteronyms with homophones, which are two or more words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings like sow and sew; do not confuse them with homonyms, which are words that have the same spelling and pronunciation but different meanings like spring as in spring forth and spring as in the season of the year. Heteronyms are a type of homograph, which is a word that is spelled the same as another word but has a different meaning. We will examine the definitions of the words August and august, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.


     

    August (AW gust) is the eighth month of the year. In the northern hemisphere, August is the last month of summer. In the southern hemisphere, August is the last month of winter. The noun August to mean a month of the year came into use in the eleventh century. The month is named for Augustus Caesar. August may also be a proper name for a man. Note that August is capitalized, in either use.

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    August (aw GUST) is an adjective that means impressive, inspiring, something or someone to be venerated. The adjective august is derived from the Latin word augustus, which means venerable, noble, inspiring.

    Examples

    On Saturday morning, President Trump held a conference call with most but not all of the nation’s sports leaders and reportedly said on the call that he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and games played by August and September. (San Francisco Chronicle)

    Midday Thursday marked the deadline to file petitions to run for office in the state and federal primary and county general election in August. (The Tennessean)

    “The august body across the rotunda gave us some very clear signals this morning as to what they were willing to do on property taxes.” (The Idaho State Journal)

    Told in cinematic interludes, structured somewhat like a delicately balanced sequence of related short stories, only with music, “The Band’s Visit” centers on the band’s elegant and august leader, Tewfiq (Sasson Gabay, the Israeli actor who starred in the film) and the bored and rather unlucky-in-love Dina (the excellent Janet Dacal), who runs a tiny cafe in Bet Hatikva. (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)


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