HomographThe term homograph It is used in the field of linguistics to allude to a word that is written in the same way as another. This means that homograph concepts have identical spelling.

Homography implies that words that they have different meanings they are written the same. There is, therefore, a spelling match between the homographs.

It can be said that homography constitutes a specific case of homonymy. The homonyms I know they pronounce the same way, but they have different meanings. Homographs, in particular, are written the same. While in Spanish the homographs are always homonyms, in other languages ​​(such as English) there are concepts that are homographs but not homonyms: they are written the same and pronounced differently.

Take the case of Bank. This notion can refer to a seat (the bank to sit down) or to a financial institution (the bank to deposit money, request a loan, etc.). As you can see, bank (seat) and bank (financial institution) are homographs: both terms are written with the same five letters and in the same order (Bank). Because there is also no distinction in terms of pronunciation, they are also homonyms.

Anger, on the other hand, it can refer to anger (“The singer exploded in anger at the reporters”) or an infectious disease (“The cholera outbreak left ten dead in the south of the country”). Both words are homographs and homonyms: they are spelled the same and pronounced the same, but they have different meanings. To distinguish them and understand what they allude to, it is necessary to analyze the context in which they appear.

From this pair we can study a very interesting aspect that does not usually take place in the homograph words of our language: one is masculine, and the other is feminine. According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, if we want to use the meaning that is defined as anger or go to, the noun anger it is female, while for the meaning of epidemic disease, it is male.

HomographIt goes without saying that in everyday speech these issues are too detailed and are not always respected. In fact, not even nouns that do not have homographs are correctly used one hundred percent of the time: the case of pan, which despite being feminine many people use it as masculine, is an example of the most common, along with that of Salt, which suffers from the same error. In short, you should say “the frying pan” and “the salt.”

Since we are talking about this substance so common in the home and industry, which allows us to enhance the taste of food and preserve raw materials, among other things, we can point out a couple in which this term is a homograph: the other is the verb to go out conjugated in the second person singular of the imperative. Therefore, although they are written and pronounced in the same way, their meanings are very different.

Let’s look at two sentences to exemplify this case of homograph terms: “The food is delicious, but for my taste it lacks a bit of salt”, “Look, get out of here, I don’t want to see you again in life!”. Similarly, the word look in this case the verb look is also conjugated in the imperative mood, while the noun look, its homograph, can be defined as a piece to direct the view in some instruments.

As can be seen, homographs do not usually give rise to confusion since they are generally used in contexts very different: talking about the taste of a plate of food has nothing in common with a discussion in which the sender asks the interlocutor to leave. However, in the realm of comedy, this peculiarity can be used to generate funny, if unrealistic situations.