In linguistics, a homonym is a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings. The English language can be deceptive. There are a few words that sound alike, yet have more than one meaning. For example:
Bow – a decorative ribbon placed on top of a gift or in a girl’s hair.
or, for today’s discussion:
Lime – a delicious green citrus fruit.
The word ‘lime’ actually falls into the ‘homophone’ (same sound, different meaning) and the ‘homograph’ (same spelling, different meaning) categories, but that is delving too deep into linguistics to hold everyone’s attention, I’m sure.
The first time I heard of the town Lime Crest was in my college years. Dollar knew this guy, Jack, who lived there. Jack, in addition to having a cool name, was quite a bit more well off than either of us. Dollar spoke of where he lived fondly. Lime Crest was way out in the northwestern part of the state. To us city boys, it could be nothing less than a wooded utopia.
Lime Crest. The very name invoked scenes of rolling, bucolic pastures the color of a Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s, pristine blue skies with old growth trees stretching their canopies towards the golden sun and clean air unspoiled by the exhalations of the city.
Years later, when I did some time in Budd Lake, my good friends Marc, Dani and I were going up to Kittatinny Valley State Park to spend the day hiking. On the way there we passed a sign indicating that Limecrest Road was to the right.
“Lime Crest,” I pointed out, recalling my past fondness.
“Yeah, what a dump site.” Marc replied, disgustedly.
“Really?” I replied, on the verge of having my memory shattered. “Isn’t it beautiful, bucolic, reminiscent of fresh limes, green, and fragrant?”
“No.” He said, looking at me like I was some kind of a sproink head. “It’s not a town, it’s a road and a shiate hole. Everything is covered in white lime dust. All the trees are dead and there’s not much left of the ‘crest’ because the quarry blasted it away. The people are having breathing issues and are so pissed off that they are moving out.”
The look on my face must have alarmed him, because he said, “What, did you think it was some kind of wooded utopia with cows grazing peacefully and sheep frolicking in verdant pastures?”
“Uhh…” I stammered.
“Well you were wrong.”