Friday, March 28, 2008

"You have a beautiful rack" - BeC

Lesson #822 in Communication

There are some word easily confused due to same spelling, pronunciation, etc. A homonym, if you will. “Rack” is one of these words, a homonym, and I actually think it’s a homograph and a homophone – a word that’s spelled and pronounced the same way, but means different things. There’s the English teacher in me coming out.

BeC was referring to a rack on which I hang my scarves and purses, and it is indeed lovely, but sometimes our culture uses the word rack to refer to other things one might not mention in company of those whom you don’t know very well. Well, you might talk about it in the abstract, but probably not refer to a specific set.

Anyway, there’s about 18 different meanings to “rack,” from an instrument of torture, to a pair of antlers, etc…. An easy way to clear up potential confusion would be to say “hat rack” or “scarf rack” or put some adjective in front of the noun so people know what I’m referring to.

It is a lovely scarf rack.

1 comment:

LK said...

Another bonus of rack, or any words starting with r is that r is so often used in blends, so what to you might be a hat rack, to me, might me more of a ha track. I hope that you are enjoying your scar frack.