I agree with you. I had the same experience in New York City elementary school
and I distinctly remember having to create a list of 500 homonyms, and
different spellings were fine.

Here's a web page discussing the ambiguity of homo*.

Marco, I am not sure why you quoted Bartleby, it says only that they are OFTEN
spelled the same, not that they must be.
"One of two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling
but differ in meaning."

I think that homonym may have changed over time to become more specific in
contrast to homophone.

I think I'll create a new term homochrone, for a word that has the same
meaning over a period of time!
That makes homonym a heterochrone.

Phillip Driscoll wrote:
> That's very interesting. In primary school in the 1960s in the
> midwestern USA, we were taught that English words which
> sound alike, but are spelled differently, are called "homonyms."
> I never heard the word "homophone" before university.
> --Phillip Driscoll
> ----- Originala Mesagxo -----
> De: "Marco Cimarosti" <marco.cimarosti@...>
> Al: <>
> Sendita: Lundon 03an de marto 2003, 9:58 atm
> Temo: RE: RE: different letters, same sound, is a...?
> > According to the American Heritage dictionary, however,
> > "homophone" and "homonym" are not synonyms, as
> > homonyms are also *spelled* the same, while
> > homophones just sound the same:
> >
> >
> >
> > _ Marco
> - world's writing systems.
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