Homonyms - AMA Manual of Style

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Stacy Christiansen

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Homonyms are words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are easily confused, and computer spell-check programs are unable to differentiate them. Common examples include affect/effect, accept/except, altar/alter, assistance/assistants, cite/site/sight, council/counsel, its/it's, patience/patients, peace/piece, peak/peek/pique, pleural/plural, principal/principle, and your/you're. (See also 11.1, Correct and Preferred Usage, Correct and Preferred Usage of Common Words and Phrases.)

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