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Which homonyms build and destroy?

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Answer: raise and raze

It takes a village to raise a child - but it takes a Cossack to raze a village.


I think of myself as an amateur linguist - I would like to have a PhD in Linguistics someday - so my husband asks me odd-ball questions all the time about how language is used.

One day (some time before I subscribed to this mailing list) he asked me if there were 2 words in the English language that were phonetically the same (homophones) but were opposite in meaning.

Almost without thinking, I gave him raze and raise (he was not familiar with the "obscure" raze).

I also pointed out that RAYS, though not an opposite, also sounds like the other two. I am going to send him this page to prove that I'm not the only one who thinks this stuff is cool. Thanks!

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