RE: Words in context



Second question was/is

Did you have any trouble figuring out what they really meant?


Looks like you did - but was it hard?


(even sighted readers have to read them with double backs to figure them

I figure its harder to do auditorily but don't know how much. 





 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D. 
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 
The Player for my DSS sound file is at




From: [] On Behalf
Of John M Slatin
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2006 5:05 PM
To: Gregg Vanderheiden;
Subject: RE: Words in context

Responses below.



"Good design is accessible design."

Dr. John M. Slatin, Director 
Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin 
FAC 248C 
1 University Station G9600 
Austin, TX 78712 
ph 512-495-4288, fax 512-495-4524 
Web  <>
<> /research/accessibility 

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Gregg Vanderheiden
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2006 4:27 PM
Subject: Words in context

 With all of these the words can be determined from context.  I only noticed
on that might be able to be read two ways though one way is pretty clearly


John,  (and you other screen reader users)

-          how many of these did you screen reader get right?

-          Were any of them that you couldn't figure out?



Can you read these right the first time?

  1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
[jms] Right. 

 2) The farm was used to produce produce.
[jms] the two instances of "produce" were pronounced differently but not
quite right in either case!  In the first instance, it was pronounced as if
it were the noun and in the second instance it was pronounced as if it were
the verb.  But it wasn't hard to figure out-- at least they were different.

 3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
[jms] Wrong: both instances pronounced as if they meant "garbage" 

  4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
[jms] Right. 

  5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
[jms] Right. 

  6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
[jms] Right! 

  7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to
present the present.
[jms] Right. 

  8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
[jms]  Wrong: both pronounced the same, as if both referred to music.

  9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
[jms] Wrong: both instances pronounced as the past tense of "to dive" 

  10) I did not object to the object.
[jms] Right 

  11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
[jms] Wrong: both instances pronounced as if they meant "not valid" 

  12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
[jms] Wrong-- both pronounced as something one does in a small boat.
  13) They were too close to the door to close it.
[jms] Right.

  14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
[jms] RIght.

  15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
[jms] Wrong. Both pronounced as if they referred to "one who sews" 

  16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
[jms] Wrong: pronounced as if the lady pig were planting seed. 

  17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
[jms] Right.

  18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
[jms] Wrong: the painting seems to be weeping

  19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
[jms] Right.

  20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
[jms] Right

  Let's face it - English is a crazy language. 

There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in

English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France.
Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. 

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that
quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is
neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

 And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't
groce and hammers don't ham? 

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? 

One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? 

One index, 2 indices? 

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? 

If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them,
what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? 

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? 

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum
for the verbally insane. 

In what language do people recite at a play and speak at a recital? 

Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? 

Have noses that run and feet that smell?

 How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a
wise guy are opposites? 

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house
can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out
and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the
creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. 

That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights
are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"
You lovers of the English language might enjoy this . . 

There is a two-letter word that perhaps
has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP." 

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the
list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? 

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? 

Why do we speak UP and why are the officials UP for election and why is it
UP to the secretary to write UP a report? 

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the
silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. 

We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. 

At other times the little word has real special meaning. 

People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think
UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special. 

And this UP is confusing: 

A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. 

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! 

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the
dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page
and can add UP to about thirty definitions. 

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is
used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may
wind UP with a hundred or more. 

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. 

When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. 

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. 

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP,
so............ Time to shut UP.....! 


Received on Sunday, 26 February 2006 23:57:16 UTC