Record vs record

Record and record  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 record and record, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences. 

A record (REK kord) is a permanent account of something or an official document, a database of information or verified statistics. A record may be the statistic of the top performance of an event or skill. A record may also be a grooved, vinyl disc that is a medium for playing back audio, most often music, on a phonograph that uses a needle to read the record. The word record is derived from the Old French word, record, which means report or memory.

To record (ree KORD) means to note something on paper or electronically to keep track of what has happened or to provide a permanent depository of information; to register a measurement such as length or temperature; to make a physical imprint or digital imprint that is a faithful reproduction of sights and sounds. The word record is derived from the Old French verb, recorder, which means to repeat or report. Record is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object; related words are records, recorded, recording.


At 13.38 inches each, Lou the coonhound broke the record for the longest ears on a living dog and the feat secured her a spot in the Guinness World Record 2022 book, according to Guinness. (USA Today)

The audience Wednesday was smaller than usual, but the King Pumpkin was bigger than ever — setting an Ohio record at 2,195 pounds. (Herald Star)

In the meantime, members of the Opposition said the council meeting in question was not legal, since the municipal secretary, who ought to record the minutes, was not present. (The Hindu)

But the real Seattle hero behind “A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle” was Brazil, who not only had the presence of mind to record the show but may well have been the impetus for Coltrane playing the piece at all. (Seattle Times)

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