I love words. I love the history of words, where they came from, how they’ve changed in usage and pronunciation. I love to play with words. I love puns. Puns are not the lowest form of humor; they’re the highest. To play with words, to make plays on words, you have to know and understand the language. Puns play with and on words. This is why I loved reading the Harry Potter series, there were so many plays on words.
One of the things I’ve noticed over the years are the words “entrance” and “entrance”. What’s the difference, you say? Those are the same words, aren’t they? Well, are they? That depends on how you pronounce each word.
EN-trance, a noun: 1) opening or door or way into something such as a building or park. “We found the entrance to the museum.”; 2) the act of entering a place. “Her entrance to the ball was mesmerizing.”; 3) permission to enter. “Late comers will be refused entrance.” The way in, perhaps?
en-TRANCE, a verb: 1) to put into a trance, or sleep-like state. “The hypnotist entranced the volunteer onto the stage.” ; 2) mesmerizing, to carry away with delight, wonder, or rapture. “We were entranced by her beauty.” To draw in, perhaps?
“Her grand entrance was entrancing.”
Now, how about “invalid” and “invalid”.
“In-VAL-id”, an adjective, meaning useless, false, baseless, logically inconsequent, also weak. “His driver’s license was invalid.” We all get that one.
“IN-va-lid”, either a noun or an adjective, meaning sickly or, again, weak. I’m glad this word is no longer common. But I’ve always wondered if “invalids” knew they were being marginalized this way by being called “invalid”.
Do you have any examples like this that you’ve noticed?