"hall of fame"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Aug 2 15:49:58 UTC 2005

On Tue, 2 Aug 2005 07:57:09 -0400, Mark A. Mandel <mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU>

>Bill Mullins cites:
>Author: G.P. Putnam & Co.
>Title: Putnam's home cyclopedia ...
>Publication date: 1852-1853. p. 525 col 2.
>"In a meadow to the W. is the colossal bronze statue of Bavaria, by
>Schwanthaler, 84 ft. high.  Near it is the "Hall of Fame." " [in entry
>for  Munich]
> <<<<
>I wouldn't count on that first one. That's just poetic diction, imho, for
>"famous halls", and only happens to coincide in form with the expression.
>In writing that last sentence I started to use "homographic", and then
>"homophonous", and then gave up. Have we got a word to describe
>specifically a word or phrase that is identical in form with another,
>but has a different meaning? ... H-m-m... H-m-n-m.... Homonym? Maybe I
>shouldn't do this sort of stuff before breakfast.

Some might call them "polysemes".

Certain dictionary definitions of "homograph" would also fit the bill,
though canonical homographic pairs also differ in terms of origin and
usually pronunciation.

Bob Cunningham, a regular on the alt.usage.english newsgroup, compiled a
chart based on various definitions of "homograph", "homonym", and
"homophone", and he found very little agreement among dictionaries:


--Ben Zimmer

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