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Wind vs wind

  • Wind and wind 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 wind and wind, where these words came from, and a few examples of their use in sentences.


     

    Wind (wind), which rhymes with bend and tend, is the movement or rush of air or an air current. Wind is also used figuratively to mean a political or social force that forces change. Wind may also mean a person’s breath, and someone who is out of breath is said to be winded. Another definition of the verb wind means to catch the scent of an animal or person. Related words are winds, winded, winding. Finally, in British English, wind may mean the passing of gas and a person may be said to break wind. The word wind is derived from the German word wind, and interestingly, the pronunciation was the same as for the following heteronym, wind, until the seventeenth century.

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    Wind (wined), which rhymes with fined and kind, is a verb that means to repeatedly twist something like the stem of a watch or the handle of a device, to travel in a twisting manner, to encircle something or to coil something upon itself. Wind may also mean to move to a certain point in a video or audio tape. Related words are winds, wound, winding. The word wind is derived from the Old English word windan, which means to twist or coil.

    Examples

    Bushfires burned dangerously out of control on Australia’s east coast on Saturday, fanned by high temperatures and strong winds that had firefighters battling to save lives and property, as a change in wind conditions merged several large fire fronts. (Reuters)

    “I won’t be worried about politics,” says Spanbauer, suggesting he won’t be holding a finger up in the air to test the political wind before making his voting decisions. (The Niagara Falls Reporter)

    As we prepare for lighter evenings, make sure you wind your clock forward one hour before you go to sleep on Saturday September 30. (The Herald Sun)

    A winding trail with stunning coastal views leads to the brackish water pond where visitors can picnic in a tranquil setting surrounded by lush hills. (Forbes)


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