When I was at school, many, many moons ago, we learned about homonyms. These are words that sound the same, but have different spellings and meanings. Some of them are very tricky, and often catch people out. Yes, even writers!
A recent spate of these in a variety of places has prompted me to write this little post to try to help. So here we go!
We all know the first of these. It’s what happens in the rain. We get WET.
But the second? WHET is to sharpen something. Hence a WHETSTONE, which is something used to sharpen knives, daggers, swords scissors, etc. It does not need to be wetted before use as it’s not a WETSTONE. When I was little, I thought that’s what it was and pictured people sharpening their knives with a bucket of water by their sides to keep the stone wet.
So we WHET our appetite, we don’t WET it.
Davrael sat by his horse WHETTING his knife before the battle.
As we sat down to our meal, the waiter brought a small savoury to WHET our appetites.
When the dragonet plunged into the water, they people nearby got WET.
This is one I’ve mentioned before, but I make no excuse for doing it again. I see it spelled wrongly far too often.
Peek. This is a quick, or sometimes sneaky look at something. Many authors will give a sneak PEEK at a chapter of their new book.
Peak. The top of something, often a mountain.
Thadora PEEKED around the corner to make sure there were no guards visible before venturing into the alley.
The climbers were exhausted by the time they reached the PEAK of the mountain.
I think that the fact that Peek is often written after Sneak that causes the problem.
To run in a steady stream, or, of rain, to fall heavily.
Pore (verb) Not to be confused with Pore (noun) meaning a small hole.
To be absorbed in reading or studying something.
When we went to catch the bus it was POURING with rain.
The barman POURED a measure of whisky into the glass.
In order to pass the test to leave his apprenticeship behind, Carthinal PORED over the magic texts.
I hope this has made it a bit clearer.
Please leave your comments in the comments box. I like to hear what you think.