Saturday, February 06, 2010

When Homophones Attack

From the New York Times this morning: a goof for the Internet age.
Southern Discomfort

Jenny Sanford, the first lady of South Carolina, is publishing her memoir and has filed for divorce from the governor, Mark Sanford, who ducked out of site for five days last June.

Out of "sight" would have been the right choice here. We are guilty of the same types of bad-homophone attacks, though, so we are only wincing in commiseration.

(Note: Edited after we had our morning coffee/comment from Barry Leiba.)

1 comment:

Barry Leiba said...

I like to refer to these errors as those made by the homophonically challenged.

I also prefer to call pairs like "site" and "sight" (and the third, "cite") homophones. Homonyms are words that are pronounced and spelled the same (that is, homonyms are at the same time homophones and homographs), such as "right" (the opposite of left), "right" (the opposite of wrong), and "right" (something guaranteed in the First Amendment). "Write" and "rite" are homophones with those.

But to insist on that would be pedantic, and we would never be that. Right?