32Don’t Get Hung Up on Homophones

Homophones are words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings. Technically, when misused, they’re not misspelled—they’re just the wrong version of the word. The classic example that catches millions of unsuspecting e-mail writers off guard every day is here (where you are) and hear (what your ears do). Spelling a word correctly requires knowing its correct meaning. To test your current level of homophone health, choose the right words to complete the following sentences.

1. Since Jane came down with the mumps, she has looked lumpy and_________.

(pail/pale)

2. Bob is a man of__________; that’s why they made him the high school________.

(principal/principle)

3. To Jennifer’s ...

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