Have A Slice Of Pi (And Other Homophones)

March 14 is one of the geekiest days on the calendar. The date is read as 3/14, also known as Pi Day. Strictly geek-speaking, pi is the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet (II, π). The character to represent pi is “the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant—the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter—which is approximately 3.14159. Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern.” That bit of data comes from the Pi Day website, and we defer to their expert assessment. If you want more digits, that’s also not a problem.

Now, Pi Day presents us with a nice homophone, right? As in, “mmmmmmm, delicious pie.” What’s your favorite homophone? We’d love to hear about it on Facebook or Twitter.

Weather and Whether

Of course, you’re talking about the weather when you’re describing the outdoor elements. Whether is a conjunction, “used to introduce the first of two or more alternatives, and sometimes repeated before the second or later alternative”. And whether you’re loving or hating the current weather, you’ll probably still talk about it.

Here and Hear

Here is used to indicate a locality, while hear is what your ears are for, to perceive and process data audibly. “Hey, come over here—can you hear the song playing on my phone?”

Your and You’re

You’re is a contraction, so to make sure you’re using it correctly, just replace it with you are and make sure it makes sense. Your indicates possession; if you own something it’s yours. “You’re headed to San Francisco this morning for your meeting, right?”

Principal and Principle

Chronic tardiness is the principle reason for a visit to the principal‘s office! There are other meanings for principal as well, but this is the one we all know—didn’t we all make that trip down the long hallway? Principle also has a variety of meanings, and we’ve got them all.

Aloud and Allowed

Aloud means vocally (as opposed to reading or singing in your head). Allowed indicates something is permitted. So, if you’re going to play music aloud, first make sure it’s allowed.

Complement and Compliment

Complement means that something goes along with and enhances something else. A compliment is an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration. So, you might receive a lot of compliments on your new carpet, which complements the living room decor perfectly.

Capital and Capitol

We define capital as “the city or town that is the official seat of government in a country, state, etc.: Tokyo is the capital of Japan.” A capitol is a building that holds legislative sessions. So if you’re asking for directions, you might say “I know it’s in the state capital, but where’s the capitol building?”

Can’t get enough? Check out the details on Affect or EffectAssent vs. Ascent, or  Too, To And Two.

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