Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"P" is for Polyseme

I've been talking about polysemes in my intermediate classes. Some might say that it is too big of a word for this level, but when I was a low-level student in Spanish, French, and Japanese, I recall being undaunted by big words.  The concept was what was important.

I want students to know that English has a huge number of words that, on the surface, look very simple, but have multiple meanings.  They are polysemes (n) or polysemous (adj).  There are other words that I could introduce to them, such as homophones, homonyms, homographs, but mostly what I want them to know is that there are words that look identical and have more than one meaning.

Try this little game to discover some simple and common polysemes (e.g., homographs).  Also, if you haven't seen "'R' is for Range", it is a previous post that examines the word "RANGE" for its multiple uses and meanings.

No comments: