Louis Roney: Give me the word

Louis Roney

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As a kid, I was strange! I never spoke a word until my 16th birthday. ... Suddenly I surprised my parents by saying, “I need the car tonight.” After that, English was always “a piece of cake.”

Some people puzzle over words with more than one meaning. And then there are those words whose pronunciations shift depending upon whether they are used as verbs or nouns, for example:

•I wound the bandage around the wound.

• Finance companies finance debt.

• Live wires live well.

• Wind power can wind cables.

• To compress the wound area, the doctor used a compress

• A farm is used to produce produce.

• I shed a tear, upon seeing the tear in my dress.

•I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

• How can I intimate this, to an intimate friend?

• Don’t try to perfect something that’s already perfect.

• The offense lost the game, an offense to their coach.

• My jaw got number after a number of injections.

• The full city dump had to refuse more refuse.

• We must polish the Polish furniture.

• He could lead if he would get the lead out.

• The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

• Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present her the present.

• I’ll now resume doing my resume.

• A big bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

• I did not object to the object.

• The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

• There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

• They were too close to the door to close it.

• The buck does strange things when the does are present.

• A seamstress and her sewer fell down into a sewer.

• To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

Some words are pronounced the same with different meanings!

• Before attending the board meeting, I sawed a board.

• The injured player is bound to be bound by the trainer.

• The orchestra conductor was a sound judge of sound.

• With a pound of nails, he began to pound.

•The Russians tried to intern the American medical intern.

• Whoever remains may view the remains.

• She couldn’t run because of the run in her stocking.

• Because of the cut on his leg he was cut from the team.

• I was able to track the runner around the track.

• I love 40 love in tennis.

• Give me a ring when he gives you the ring!

• The rose then rose to first place in the flower show.

• I found the salt cellar in the cellar.

• I can’t stomach a big stomach.

• I hurt my leg on the last leg of the relay

• I found the address so that I was able to address the card

• I had to tackle the job of locating my fishing tackle.

• Let’s protest further protests.

As an example of quixotic word misuse, I recommend the name “English horn” for an instrument that is neither English, nor a horn.

For sardonic use of the English language few could, or would want to, emulate Ambrose Bierce, who coined the following:

• Bigot, a person who is obstinately and zealously attracted to an opinion that you do not entertain.

• Distress, a disease incurred by exposure to the prosperity of a friend.

• Calamity, a more than commonly plain and unmistakable reminder that the affairs of this life are not of our own ordering. Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.

• Bride, a woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her.

• Commendation, the tribute that we pay to achievements that resemble, but do not equal, our own.

• Conservative, a statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the liberal, who wishes to replace them with others.

• Bore, a person who talks when you wish him to listen.

Never forget: “In the beginning was the word.”