Keep On, Creeping On
I wrote this phrase recently... "waiting for my heel to heal" ...and then I thought what fun it was to express myself using a homonym. 
"Heel" and "heal" - they're homonyms, right?  ...Not right.  They're homophones. 
When did that happen?  When did they change the rules?  I've never heard of homophones. 
But that's not all.  There's also something called homographs. 
So, there you have it.  Homographs, Homophones, and Homonyms ... Oh, My!

Here's what I've learned.
=== Homographs are words that are written the same way but have different meanings and often different pronunciations:
'Wind' can mean the movement of air when talking about the weather. It can also mean to follow a course or way that is not straight; the road winds through the mountains. These are different words with different pronunciations although they are written the same way.

=== A Homonym is a word that is written and pronounced the same way as another, but which has a different meaning.
'Lie' can be a verb meaning to tell something that is not true or to be in a horizontal position. They look and sound the same, but are different verbs as can be seen from their forms:
Lie-lied-lied (to say something untrue)
Lie-lay-lain (to be in a horizontal position)

=== Homophones are words that are spelled differently but sound the same.
'Rain', 'rein' and 'reign'
'To', 'Two', and 'Too'
Shouldn't our teachers have called us to let us know the rules changed?  And if that's not bad enough, do you know what letters are vowels?
Sure you do...    A  E  I  O  U  
And sometimes...  Y quickly added this, though you're hard pressed to remember when "Y" counts as a vowel.  Well, guess what?  Something new has been added here too...
And sometimes...  W  ... "Double You"?  You've got to be kidding. 
Nope, it's a fact.  Another new fact they've added after we graduated. 
Are you starting to feel like one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?  Oh, did you miss that one, too?  The Seven Wonders of the World we learned about are now referred to as
the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
Are you feeling old now?  Feel like you've traveled into some warped time frame in the future?  Not yet?  Then try this.  Ask your grandson, niece, or nephew, ask any 10 year old kid if they know who Elvis is, or the Beatles.  You'll be shocked to learn that they've never heard of 'em.

Stay well... and keep getting older,

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Copyright Yale Schwartz, 2008