Word Play: Flies That Zip Or Flies That Fly?

Pamela Beers

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The word "fly" is a homograph. Homographs are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings and different origins. For example, there is the fly on your pants, referred to as a zipper, and that pesky winged insect that makes annoying buzzing sounds.

Why is it that the only time I forget to zip up my pants is when I'm trying to impress a potential client? It always happens when I'm rushed for time and is only noticed when I see people staring at the area below my waist where polite people don't usually stare. When I look down to see what people are looking at, I notice part of my shirttail poking out the front of my slacks. Usually clients have a sense of humor and laugh more at the color of my face (which by now is crimson from embarrassment) than at the unzipped fly.

The other fly is that pesky winged critter that makes annoying whirring, humming sounds until it lands. I like the ones that are musical with their varying droning pitches of incessant buzzing. The flight of the flies usually takes place on a hot summer night around 2 a. m. waking me from a sound sleep. At that point, I am usually up looking for the fly swatter (no, I'm not going to swat zippers) so that I can squash that intolerable noise. It turns out, this summer, I didn't need a fly swatter after all. When a fly landed on me, it bit me. The poor thing dropped over dead on the floor. It must have been that jalapeno pepper I had with dinner.

Have fun with words. Just remember, keep your fly zipped, and learn to enjoy jalapeno peppers because I've discovered that they kill the other kind. . . flies that is.

Copyright © 2005 by Pamela Beers. All rights reserved.

Pamela Beers is a freelance writer, and educator who is a platinum ezine article expert. You may visit her website at http://www.pamelabeers.com for writing and marketing tips.

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