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Awed vs odd

  • Awed and odd are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. Homophones are a group of words with different spellings, the same pronunciations, and different meanings. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that sound the same, and homophones are commonly misused words. Said aloud, the difference is less important, because the words are pronounced the same. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish between homophones and understand the correct spelling; the words affect-effect are a good example, but the word pairs to, too and two, bridle and bridal, creek and creak, hoard and horde, toed and towed, or horse and hoarse, are indistinguishable from each other and are easily confused and are commonly misused. Pronunciation is usually more ambiguous, as English pronunciation may vary according to dialect, and English spelling is constantly evolving. Pronunciation may change even though the spelling doesn’t, producing two words that are pronounced in the same manner but have different meanings such as night and knight. Phonological spelling and spelling rules do not always work, and most people avoid misspelling 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 threw is derived from the Old English word thrawan, and the word through came from the Old English word thurh. Homophones are confusing words and are commonly misspelled words because of the confusion that arises from words that are pronounced alike but have very different usage and etymology. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a homophone in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Homophones are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words awed and odd, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.



     

    Awed means to feel overwhelming reverence, to feel dumbstruck, to be astounded or overcome with wonder. Awed is an adjective or the past tense of the verb awe; related words are awes, awing. The word awed is derived from the Old English word egan, which means terror or fear.

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    Odd means unusual, strange, different from, unexpected. An odd number is one with 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9 as a last digit. Odd is an adjective; the comparative form is odder, the superlative form is oddest, the adverb form is oddly. The word odd is derived from the old Norse word oddi, which means the third or additional number.

    Examples

    So despite the circumstances that surround us, take a moment to be “awed” and transcend the common disposition of the day. (Caspar Star Tribune)

    Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009, awed the world for decades with their monumental sculptures and installations. (Asbury Park Press)

    As member photo-graphs are presented, without revealing the name of the photographer, the Sauciers will offer their feedback on each photograph’s composition, lighting, clarity, creativity and how well the image conveys the theme “Odd Pairings.” (The Transylvania Times)

    Attorneys for Tucson are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to void a 2018 law that seeks to force the city to scrap its odd-year elections. (Arizona Capitol Times)


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