Daily Frolic 1: Homophone hilarity

NOTE: I have accepted the challenge of posting daily blog entries throughout November. Not wanting to test your patience, I have decided to make my posts, which I’m calling Daily Frolics, as brief as the subject allows. Here comes the first one.


Homophones are words which, although spelt differently, sound the same, and it is this sameness that creates no end of problems in the spelling department. The homophones notable for the havoc they wreak (NOT reek, by the way) – at least in Britain – are it’s and its, closely followed by their and there. Other commonly misspelt homophones, or near-homophones, include: principal/ principle, loose/ lose, flair/ flare, practice/ practise, dependent/ dependant, stationery/ stationary, rational/ rationale, site/ cite/ sight, complement/ compliment, the complete list being far too long for this post. At the other end of the spectrum sit homophones the confusion of which is so unexpected that it packs an even mightier punch, causing hilarity when none was intended. Having raided my collection of funnies, I have selected eight for your delectation.

“An application to build a single story (sic) shed went before council planners this week.” (My local newspaper)

Building a single-storey shed seems to me to be a non-story.

“The ability to martial (sic) ideas at speed is important.” (The Times Educational Supplement)

Reading such stuff, I feel an overwhelming martial impulse to court-martial those writers who are unable to marshal their words without blundering.


“They are in the throws (sic) of planning the next charity ball.” (My local newspaper)

Are they being thrown by being in the throes, by any chance?

“But the popularity of ICT dwarves (sic) the rest [of the subjects studied by pupils].” (The Times Educational Supplement)

Does ICT dwarf other subjects also among dwarves? This author seems to have thrown himself recklessly on the mercy of the spell-checker – never a good idea.

“I look foreword (sic) to you joining us.” (Book publisher, author and director of a digital marketing college)

But I’m not looking forward to joining them – not after such a welcome.

“Maybe there will be a notice saying No Riffraff Travellers, Bone (sic) Fide Shoppers Only.” (The Independent)

Bona fide shoppers should make no bones about their thoughts on notices such as this.


“A number of individuals have been given warnings about the manor (sic) of their driving.” (My local newspaper)

Presumably, in an appropriate manner

Finally, a marketing expert has recently sent me a newsletter ending with an earnest imploration to “bare with him”. Tempted though I was, I decided to decline on that occasion – would you have been more daring?


10 thoughts on “Daily Frolic 1: Homophone hilarity

  1. What really bothers me is when my son comes home and I have a look at his homework or class notes and the TEACHERS are not even able to spell properly! The bar has really gone down…..


  2. I had a boss who didn’t know the different meanings of there, their, and they’re, which always made me cringe whenever he wrote anything. One day he e-mailed me to say that he was going to the Yorkshire countyside on business so I replied that he should be careful not to make any comments about the smell from the sheep in the air as th’ air there is their air and they’re proud off it. I don’t think he ever worked out that I was extracting the urine.


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