Back in 1964, a young lady by the name of Shirley Ellis released a song by that title and it was all about rhyming a person's name.
For a writer, rhyming a word — like a poet — isn't something they really want to do. In fact, you can have words sound alike and be spelled differently. Or, you can have words spelled exactly the same but sound differently. I'll explain.
Take these four (4) words: bough, bow, bow, beau.
The first two and the last two are spelled differently but pronounced the same. You probably noticed that the middle two are spelled the same.
The first set and last set are considered "homophones." That means they are spelled differently but sound alike.
It was a beautiful yellow bow on the present.
Mary's beau gave her a corsage.
For the middle set (bow, bow) — they're called "homographs" and they are spelled the same but pronounced differently. See the example above.
For convenience sake, and to make things just a tad more confusing — we also have what are called "homonyms" and they are spelled the same, pronounced the same, but have different meanings.
The only time this gets truly embarrassing is when a writer uses the wrong spelling of the word — slipping a homonym into the sentence incorrectly.
One of the worst culprits is: yore, your, you're. Think of how many times you've read or written: Your going to like this. What you really meant was: You're going to like this.
For a great expanded list of homonyms, may I recommend Alan Cooper's webpage? http://www.cooper.com/alan/homonym_list.html This is a good list but there are several others available on the internet.
Writers need a plethora of words at their command, but they also must know which word, and its correct spelling, to use.
It's all about the Name Game …