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Wound vs wound

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


     

    A wound (woond) is an injury, either physical or figurative. A wound may be inflicted on living tissue or it may be an injury to one’s emotions or psychological makeup. Wound is also a verb that means to inflict an injury, either physically or figuratively. Related words are wounds, wounded, wounding. The word wound is derived from the Old English word wund, which means ulcer or injury.

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    Wound (wownd) is the past tense of wind, which means to twist something, to make a spiral or coil shape, to encircle something. Related words are winds, winding. The word wound is derived from the Old English word windan, which means to twist or curl.

    Examples

    When April Coker heard Preston Lagle finally admitted his role in the death of her son, a wound that had been festering for months was ripped wide open, flooding her with anxiety and pain. (The Times-Mail)

    He would just patch a wound with a piece of duct tape and keep moving. (The Miami News-Record)

    But armed with some flasks and a UV lamp, scientists at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge have wound the clock back billions of years to give us fresh insight into one of the most fundamental questions facing humankind. (The Cambridge Independent)

    At a press conference Wednesday, DeSantis said he understood “people got all wound up” about speculation over schools and said no decision has been made yet to reopen schools or keep them closed. (The Tallahassee Democrat)


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