For those who are unfamiliar with this term, a heteronym is a word that has the same spelling as another word, but with a different pronunciation and meaning. Here are some examples:
- Excuse; Please excuse me while I think of an excuse.
- Polish; Tell the Polish cleaners to polish the floor.
- Minute; The button was so minute that it was a minute before I found it.
- Wind; Hopefully the wind will be strong enough to wind the windmill.
- Record; It’s the referee’s job to record the new world record.
My pet peeve is with the word “evening” because many people use the incorrect pronunciation when they speak it.
One version is based on the word “eve” which refers to the end of the day. It is pronounced “eve/ning.” The other version is based on the word “even.” It is pronounced “even/ing” (such as in “evening the score” or “evening the playing field”).
Therefore, those who say “even/ing” when referring to the time of day are mistaken.