Agriculture Communication

Accessibility


| Share

Write the Right Word - hone vs. home

Words that sound the same or are spelled somewhat the same often don’t mean the same thing. In other words, they are not interchangeable.

One example is “hone” and “home.”

“Hone” means to sharpen, as in, “She honed her math skills by taking extra classes.”  If you are in doubt about using “hone,” then substitute another word, such as “strengthen” or “improve.” So you would say, “She improved her math skills by taking extra classes.”

“Home,” when used with “in,” means to focus on. For example, “Researchers are homing in on the cause of a new soybean disease.”

Here’s an easy way to remember to use “home in” when you mean “focus on”: Think of homing pigeons and how single-minded they can be about finding their way to a point. Or better yet, use another phrase, such as “zero in”: “Researchers are zeroing in on the cause of a new soybean disease.”

Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu

 

 

Filed under:
Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.