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Crazy English

Multiple Meanings

Many, if not most, English words have multiple meanings.  Sometimes meanings for a single word (same spelling and pronunciation) can be completely unrelated to each other.  (If you think this doesn't sometimes create problems in everyday life, take a look here.)  In some cases they can be polar opposites (contronyms).  This week we will work with this phenomenon.

On the reverse side of this sheet, I have placed 25 sentences. Circle the number of the one I’ve assigned you.

General Instructions

Prepare each part below on a separate sheet of paper headed with your name, the class name, the due date and the assignment name. Proofread your work for legibility, conciseness, spelling, punctuation, capitalization and completeness. After I return Part 1 to you, use it to improve your work in Part 2.

Specific Instructions

Part 1

    1. Write out the name of the dictionary you are using.
    2. Write out your assigned sentence. If you do not use a word processor to prepare your homework, double underline each bolded word.
    3. Write out the dictionary sense (meaning) which defines the first bolded word in your sentence. Include its number.
    4. What part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, or adverb) does the first bolded word play in your sentence?

Part 2

    1. Write out the name of the dictionary you are using.
    2. Write out your assigned sentence. If you do not use a word processor to prepare your homework, double underline each bolded word.
    3. Write out the dictionary sense (meaning) which defines the second bolded word in your sentence. Include its number.
    4. What part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, or adverb) does the second bolded word play in your sentence?

Example – Part 1

    1. Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary
    2. He parked his car at the town park while his children played.
    3. park2 2a (2) : to leave temporarily on a public way or in a parking lot or garage
    4. verb

Example – Part 2

    1. Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary
    2. He parked his car at the town park while his children played.
    3. park1 2 a : a piece of ground in or near a city or town kept for ornament and recreation
    4. noun

Circle the number of your assigned sentence.

  1. She played the violin as a character in the school play.
  2. Soldiers used the cart to cart off the dead bodies.
  3. Despite the fact that she was run down from her cold, she scored the winning run.
  4. The pitcher drank a pitcher of lemonade between innings.
  5. Through the house’s window, he saw a word processing window on the display.
  6. In his job kneading bread dough, he made a lot of dough.
  7. They rolled up the roll of wire for shipping.
  8. Pointing his finger, he fingered the suspect.
  9. They skinned the mink because she wanted a mink skin for her coat.
  10. In a firm voice, the head of the firm read the bad news.
  11. The carpenter used a nail to nail the door shut.
  12. They built a wall to wall off the unsightly mess.
  13. The skunk’s smell smelled awful.
  14. The box of papers contained information showing that the criminals were boxed in.
  15. Sitting at her lunch table, the congresswoman heard her motion had been tabled.
  16. With her hand in a cast, it was hard to hand off the baton.
  17. The mouse emerged from his hole, scaring the typist so badly he dropped his mouse.
  18. The fence sat hidden behind the fence waiting for the thief to show up.
  19. Please give me leave to leave.
  20. He got wind of the story when the wind blew the newspaper into his room.
  21. Strike the nail with your hammer now; strike the set later.
  22. The judge offered to continue the case in order to allow us to continue negotiating.
  23. Good drivers buckle their seat belts just in case their cars buckle in an accident.
  24. The NCAA sanctioned the player in the sanctioned event.
  25. She stood fast to her principles, ran fast in her race, and refused to eat because she was on a fast.

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original web posting: Monday, October 22, 2001
last modified: Sunday, November 21, 2004