Sunday, July 31, 2011

Miner & Minor

With an E – A person who digs a mine.
With an O – Small in size, significance, etc. A person under the legal age of responsibility. A musical term relating to scales with certain intervals lowered by half steps. Also, a secondary, subordinate educational degree – but that implies the "lesser significance" definition, doesn't it? So I didn't draw anything for that.
(Of course, I suppose the musical "minor" implies that definition as well, with the lowered notes. But I did decide to include that in the picture. Well, what can I say? I'm an illustrator, not a linguist. And definitely not a perfectionist.) :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I'm taking a little vacation in a few weeks, and the thought of packing has me wondering: should I use my duffel bag or my duffle bag?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Red, Reed, Read, and... Read

Two pairs of homophones today (reed & read, red & read) which contain an overlapping pair of homographs – words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently (read & read).

To our colorblind friends, sorry for the big gray square up there. (And to our black and white purists, sorry for straying from the format.) I toyed around with some iconic "red" items, but making them black and labeling them red just didn't seem to work as well as simply having a big red square. Luckily "blew/blue" is the only other color homophone I'll have to deal with, so this won't be an ongoing concern.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Baited & Bated

Baited – lured to a trap with the promise of a reward, or the act of having placed that reward in the trap.
Bated – diminished, reduced, basically the same thing as “abated.”
So if we baited the trap with cheese, then everything about the rat is bated – its life is bated, our rat problem is bated, and its breath is definitely bated. Yes, folks, it’s “waiting with bated breath” not baited. (And not “weighting,” for that matter.) It means to hold your breath in excited anticipation, it doesn’t mean your breath smells like cheese. Though you still might consider a mint now and then, for reals.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Serial commas

So hearts momentarily stopped last week during the Great Serial Comma Misunderstanding of 2011. Suffice it to say, the rules have not changed and are as contentious as ever. We all know the arguments for and against it, and we all know to be consistent one way or the other, I'm sure. But it bears asking... are you with serial commas or against them?