Horrible Homophones – the hole storey

Knot two no you’re homophones, as guest contributor Sondra Smith from Virginia, USA, points out, is a recipe for writing disaster as she acknowledged with my recent series on spelling goofs caused by these evil beasts. But given Sondra’s delightful sense of humor, homophones are not quite the villains they may seem. Please welcome her to HTWB along with her incredible collection of homophones.

Horrible Homophones - the hole storeyAll of us know what a challenge it is to write the correct homophones (same sounding words). Many of us have misused them time and time again before knowing about the “other” homophones.  In the business world, it is extremely important to use the correct homophone when writing.

Homophones are taught in school, but normally only the basic words are touched upon. It is up to the students and users of the English language to find and learn the rest of those deceitful and full of deception words.

To my great surprise, I found over 2,680 homophones in the English dictionaries when I decided to help the world to know about the homophones. I thought I would find a couple hundred. My thoughts of finding just a couple hundred words were very naïve on my part. I had no idea there were so many homophones in the language.

First, I wrote a book; Whata (What do) Ewe (You) “Mean” Bye (By) That?, about the subject of homophones. After the publication of the book, I was asked by a college professor teaching in China, to write sentences using each word and to state if the words were a noun, verb, adj., etc.

Months later, using five different English dictionaries, I compiled a much more complex and complete list of homophones.  I decided to publish my work as an App with Apple; Write The Right Word, without using them in sentences. The example of CHOIR and QUIRE are used below. On the App, I did include the meanings of each word, including if they are a noun, verb, adj. etc.

It is challenging to know how to spell the second, third and sometimes the fourth homophone, although you know there is more than one same sounding word.

Looking up the homophone words in the dictionary is challenging. We try to rhyme the words, not actually knowing the “other” word starts with a different letter of the alphabet.

CHOIR AND QUIRE are great examples of confusion about how do I find that “other” word? Each homophone has an entirely different meaning from the other same sounding word also.  It is extremely important to use the correct homophone, when writing the English language, as you will see in the sample of a “business” email sent below…

CHOIR n., an organized company of singers, adj. professed to recite or chant the divine office, v., to sing or sound in a chorus

QUIRE n., 24-25 sheets of paper, same size and quality.

In an office setting; a PA sends an email to the supply person who orders supplies for the office and says…’We need a choir up on the third floor right away’. The supply person shows up an hour later with a choir of six people and asks, “What song and for who would you like them to sing?” Of course, the secretary meant “quire” …

It doesn’t matter if you are in an office setting, writing an email to a friend, or writing a blog. Using the incorrect homophone can and in many cases will affect how people perceive you.

Write The Right Word is an app with Apple and is available worldwide.

Homophones - the hole storey

Sondra Smith

Sondra Smith is a writer with a passion for homophones and for demystifying them for all our sakes.

She lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, with 10 feral cats that found their way there.

Her love for nature, animals and homophones continues to grow. Check her out here






  1. I guess I’m just a good speller (and prolific reader) so I probably know most of them 🙂 Is her book still available?

    • Hi Trudy – I have asked Sondra to drop in and answer your question.

    • Greetings Trudy,

      Yes, my book, Whata (What Do) Ewe (You) “Mean” Bye (By) That? can be ordered by contacting me. It does not have all the homophones that are in the App as mentioned in this blog, but is still a useful and fun book. To add fun to the book I have added Life’s most pressing questions, how come and did you know? If you are located in the UK or another European country I will have to check with the post office to see what the postage will be to send it to you. On the positive side, I have lowered the price from $18.95 USD to $5.00 USD, plus postage during this promotion period. I do have a PayPal account.

      My email address is whataewemeanbyethat@yahoo.com and my website is http://www.whataewemean.weebly.com Please put homophone book in the subject title just in case it would be sent to my spam mail.

      If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your interest in the book. Congratulation on being a good speller.

      Best Regards,