2003-03-03 15:01:21, Thomas Chan <tc31@...> wrote:

>You must be describing a situation similar to what I experienced circa the
>early 80's--I was taught that the likes of "bear" and "bare" were
>"homonyms" (rather than "homophones"),

That's exactly what I had in mind. The definition of identical spelling (e.g.
"bank") for "homonym" seems to indicate that such usage is actually wrong.
I doubt that many teachers know the word "homophone", and if asked to define
it, just might come out with something unintentionally comical.

Considering that a typical school textbook apparently contains a plethora of
factual errors, and more conceptual errors, I'm not surprised any more.

Texas, afaik, sued a textbook publisher because some books the state had
bought contained so many errors.

>and the ridiculous notion of five (or six) vowels in English, occuring in two

How about trying to force-fit English grammar into a Latin mold?

While there are many wonderful teachers doing their level best, against often
considerable odds, unfortunately it appears that teaching is also a repository
for the least competent, in some instances. Assuming it's not factory or
construction work done primarily with one's hands, but of one's mind, teaching
is a refuge.

IIrc, _The Book of Roots_ by Beeler is all too rare and painfully under-
appreciated. It contains many common English word roots, mostly if not
entirely Latin and Greek.

Nicholas Bodley |@| Waltham, Mass.
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