Punctuation Puzzle: Homophones and Parentheses


by Zac Kieser & Donna Reish

“Homophones. Homophones. Homophones. Homophones!” Did you sing along with the old Veggie Tales song? I have never seen a Veggie Tale video, and I can even sing that! (Along with “Where Is My Hair Brush?”) The song is catchy, but the homophones are often not! They can be downright tricky at times! And then there’s parentheses (unrelated to homophones…well, not really…read on!), but tricky nonetheless.


Punctuation Puzzle: Led vs. Lead & Alot vs. A lot

Punctuation Puzzle: Led vs. Lead, Alot vs A Lot

By Zac Kieser and Donna Reish

Today we have a PUNCTUATION PUZZLE—plus a couple of other errors for you to find!


The shepherd lead them to the brook and they drank alot, because they were very, hot, and thirsty.


Here is the answer with an explanation for each aspect below:

The shepherd led them to the brook, and they drank a lot because they were very hot and thirsty.



Affect vs. Effect

Affect vs. Effect

I can remember learning about affect and effect in school–and being completely confused all of the time. Is that how you feel? Well, get ready to be relieved of your affect/effect phobia!


WORDY WEDNESDAY: peak, peek, pique

Picture by Lisa Rivera

Oh my word! My tips and tricks for peek, peak, and pique aren’t nearly as cute and memorable as the ones Lisa Rivera has created in the picture above! In our curriculum materials, and on the web, I don’t have access to that kind of graphic representation of words. I might have to look into that in the future!

In the meantime, her picture says a thousand words–okay, well really just three:

1. Peek
    a. Verb meaning a secretive look–And then I am going to peek into the package.
    b. Noun meaning a small glance–She took a peek into the package.
    c. Thus, the two EYES in the middle of the word peek in the graphic. (We do have that in our books, but we just tell it not show it–showing it is so much better!)

2. Peak
   a. Verb meaning to reach the highest point—They said that the dancer was going to peak at just the right time.
   b. Noun meaning the highest point—They reached the mountain’s peak.
   c. Adjective meaning highest point—They were at their peak performance.
   d. Love the graphic with the A being a high, mountainous point. 

3. Pique’
   a. Verb meaning to arouse curiosity–They really tried to pique’ our attention with those pictures.
   b. Noun meaning resentment–He slammed the door in a fit of pique’. (Use it interchangeably with “quick anger.”
   c. Noun or adjective meaning nubby fabric–He wore his pique’ bright yellow polo shirt.
   d. The verb is the most common meaning; and thus, we see the cat at the bottom of the q in the picture because “curiosity killed the cat.” CLEVER!

If you don’t have that great picture above, here are ways to remember these three:

1. Peek–has two e’s, and we have two eyes and peek with our eyes
2. Peak—not two e’s OR They have a lEAK in the pEAK of their roof.
3. Pique’–Ends with que—question begins with que

Happy Wordy Wednesday! If you like our blog, share it with others! Put the FB link on your timeline, so others can learn with Language Lady each week! Smile…

WORDY WEDNESDAY: Write, Right, Rite, and Wright

In my complete language arts books, I have a weekly lesson called “Wacky Words.” When I began writing language arts books for a different publisher fourteen years ago, I did not have this section in my books. 

Then I began testing…and testing…and testing…my materials. As I tested them, I discovered that even mature writers have difficulties with homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings). Then along came message boards, email groups, and FaceBook, and I discovered EVERYBODY has trouble with homophones. From these experiences, the Wacky Word lessons were born.

This week I was thinking of the plays that our daughter is directing for a community youth program called The Young Playwrights. I have seen the word playwrights before, but this week, it struck me that we do not have that word in our Wacky Word lessons with write, right, and rite.

Then, of course, I thought more (thinking is what I do!) and wondered why, if the children are writing plays, the term is not playwrite. So…that takes us to this Wordy Wednesday/Wacky Word post!

The picture above gives us some idea of why the word is playwright and not playwrite. The picture is of a wheelwright shop–that is, a shop in which one crafts wheels.

Though the word “wright” is most commonly associated with crafting with wood (wheelwright), the word “wright” is used in other contexts to indicate crafting or creating as well:


In that way, a playwright is not simply “writing” a play, but he or she is “crafting” something–perhaps he or she is even meticulously creating the script, like a wheelwright meticulously creates wheels.

So our four “Wacky Words” for “Wordy Wednesday” can be remembered with the following tips:

1. Write–to pen or scribe the written word

2. Right–correct; opposite of wrong; from the fight, might, light family, phonetically speaking

3. Rite–a ritual or ceremony; a rite of passage (This makes the Rite-Aid stores all spelled wrong–unless they mean “aid” for a ceremony or passage, which I don’t think they mean. I think they want to say that their stores give the “right” kind of aid/assistance.)

4. Wright–a crafter, especially of wooden creations    


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