Our vocabulary list last week had several, what we used to call homonyms, but what I guess what they teach them to say now is homophones. Remember, this is middle school. The short o in homonym elicits no snickering. However, as I explain to them the roots of the two words – homo = same, nym = name, phon = sound – I always get the snickering at homo.

It also happens when Tom Sawyer and the boys say gay.

Just today I found my old (1986) Matt Groening cartoon book, School is Hell . It has a beauty cartoon called, “A Teacher’s Guide to Words That Make Kids Snicker.” (Fair Use, right?)

Snicker - Click to Enlarge