Word Ways


Willard R. Espy


By sound, many words are a series of shorter words strung together, the parts often having no relationship in meaning to the whole: QUERIED = QUEER + REED. In the August 1969 Word Ways, J. A. Lindon suggested the name homophone for this type of word play. Notice that it extends the concept of homonym which, strictly speaking, is a single word with one sound but two or more spellings. The homophone is the aural equivalent of the charade, in which the constituent words must be read instead of spoken.