Wade and weighed 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 wade and weighed, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.
Wade means to walk through water or another liquid substance like oil or mud. Wading involves walking; at least one foot is on the ground at any time, one is not swimming. The verb wade is also used in a figurative sense, to mean to go through something in a laborious manner. Occasionally, wade is used as a noun to mean the act of walking through water or going through something in a laborious manner. Related words are wades, waded, wading. The word wade is derived from Old English word wadan, which means to go forward.
Weighed is the past tense of the verb weigh, which means 1.) to measure how heavy an object is 2.) to be as heavy as a certain amount 3.) to compare ideas or contemplate facts. Related words are weigh, weighs, weighing, weight. The word weighed is derived from the Old English word wæg, which means to discover how heavy something is.
In the wake of demands across the country to either defund law enforcement agencies or change their practices, Concord’s police chief revealed this week he’s thinking about setting up a mental health response team to defuse volatile situations officers shouldn’t wade into alone. (The East Bay Times)
Working in small groups, students did not hesitate to wade thigh-high into the waters of South Lido Beach to collect samples to test for water quality measures, particularly the presence of microplastics. (SRQ Magazine)
Cleaners were spotted stacking dozens of bags by the pond as they filled it with dead fish and it weighed about 500kg [0.5 tonne]. (The Daily Star)
A term limits discussion kicked off in Arlington City Hall and online Thursday as committee members weighed other Texas cities’ term limits and presented their opening thoughts about the contentious topic. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)