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Rumor vs roomer

  • Rumor and roomer are two 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 rumor and roomer, the word origin of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.


     

    A rumor is a piece of unverified information, gossip passed without knowing its origin or accuracy, a story without a basis in fact. The word rumor is derived from the Latin word rumorem, which means hearsay or noise. Rumor is used as a noun or a verb, related forms are rumors, rumored, rumoring. The British spelling is rumour.

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    A roomer is someone who rents one room in a larger house or apartment. The word roomer is an agent noun formed from the word room. An agent noun describes a person who performs the action of the root verb. The word roomer came into use in the 1870s and is primarily an American usage.

    Examples

    During their hour-long discussion, Oprah and Gaga discussed everything from managing her fibromyalgia to her rumored relationship with A Star Is Born co-star Bradley Cooper. (Rolling Stone Magazine)

    Boeing (BA) stock rose Tuesday amid rumors that investing legend Warren Buffett is buying shares as Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) looks to put some of its massive cash pile to use. (Investor’s Business Daily)

    Some lawyers at BNI believe that outside of Baltimore City, a roomer has the right to stay in the property only until the rent is consumed and then may be told to leave immediately or be considered a trespasser. (The Baltimore Sun)

    “I would have had to bring in a roomer,” says Schill, who worked for 39 years as a “low-paid LPN.” (The Erie Reader)


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