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If Americans write "meters" instead of "metres" (the street is 300 meters long), how do they write "meters" as in parking meters?

If they are both the same, how do they distinguish between the two?
Wraithorn · 51-55, M
Context I suppose. There are a multitude of such words in all forms of English. Apparently they are called homonyms.
ArishMell · 61-69, M
[@385840,Wraithorn] "Metre" is French, as are gramme and litre! I think the official SI spellings are those, too.
Wraithorn · 51-55, M
[@519706,ArishMell] Well I'm S.African and I was taught British English. So I write litre, metre, theatre etc. 🙂
JustNik · 46-50, F
Context.
Strictsinger · 61-69, M
Your premise is inaccurate - they aren’t “the same thing.” They are the same WORD, but that’s not “the same thing.” (One is a device to collect coins as a fee to park your vehicle, the other is a form of measurement.)
As someone mentioned, they are homonyms - two words that sound the same, but which have different meanings. (Homonyms may be spelled differently: e.g., “Pair” and “Pear”)
In addition, they are homographs, meaning that they are spelled the same but have different meanings. (Homographs may be pronounced differently: e.g., “ADDress” meaning a location, and “adDRESS” meaning to speak to a person or topic)
Other examples of homographic homonyms include:
Air - oxygen / a lilting tune.
Arm - body part / division of a company.
Band - a musical group / a ring.
Bark - a tree's out layer / the sound a dog makes.
Bat - an implement used to hit a ball / a nocturnal flying mammal

Thanks for asking!
HeadGirl · 41-45, F
[@761843,Strictsinger] They shouldn't be spelled the same, because as you say they are not the same thing.
Strictsinger · 61-69, M
[@837854,HeadGirl]
So there should be a different word for everything? That’s a lovely idea - totally impossible, given the limited number of sounds and the incredible number of nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, etc. in the language - but it’s a cute thought.
So far as I can find, there is no language which does NOT have homonyms.
HeadGirl · 41-45, F
[@761843,Strictsinger] Yes, but does that make it acceptable to mix them up? I don't think so.
the same way we don't need to use a y in tires to distinguish from round wheelie bits and getting fatigued.
Redstar · 31-35, M
[@887863,bourbon] But no one says "I'm feeling tires"
HeadGirl · 41-45, F
[@322609,Redstar] No, it's "I'm feeling tired".
Redstar · 31-35, M
[@837854,HeadGirl] Exactly.
As the others have said, context. Same way one knows the difference between tree bark vs. a dog’s bark. A wound (injury) vs. the past participle of wind—and for that matter, to wind one’s watch, vs. the wind blowing outside, to blow one’s horn vs, the “low blow”. And so on. 🙂
[@837854,HeadGirl] You were the one who mentioned the way the words [b]sound[/b] being a factor. Those two words sound the same, yet we know the difference, because of context. And that’s the answer overall. We know because of [b]context[/b].
HeadGirl · 41-45, F
[@328496,bijouxbroussard] No, we know the difference between those two because of the spelling. That is the first thing we notice.
Strictsinger · 61-69, M
[@837854,HeadGirl]
Unless, of course, our conversation is spoken.
Interesting how complex it all gets, isn’t it?
SW User
When we teach you guys how to speak English 🤪
HeadGirl · 41-45, F
[@353941,Meowsolini] You are just a nasty little troll and I refuse to interact with you any longer.
SW User
[@837854,HeadGirl] She speaks the truth. So have I and honestly if they don’t know slang, they’ve never made anything out of it! Now do we out of theirs...
SW User
[@837854,HeadGirl] And we don’t need a grammar Nazi to correct us!
Context, if I read parking is too expensive I wish they did not have these meters here. I do not think distance.

Each of the parking meters are 9 meters apart.
cycleman · 56-60, M
Well meterphorically speaking, America is the world leader, they can do anything they want.
SW User
[@134288,cycleman] atta boy 😂
firefall · 61-69, M
[@134288,cycleman] world leader? excellent joke
Well...you don't measure a distance using devices designed to collect parking fees and you don't put parking fees in something that refers to distance.
firefall · 61-69, M
parking meters they spell as meters
distance metres they spell as yards
HeadGirl · 41-45, F
[@1725,firefall] I've seen them talk about distance in meters. They do on SW.
Virgo79 · 56-60, M
That's why we use feet and yards insted of meters🤷‍♂️
Virgo79 · 56-60, M
[@837854,HeadGirl] yea it's easing it's way in like a lot of stuff😟
HeadGirl · 41-45, F
[@349935,Virgo79] No, it is not. It is easing ITS way in. NO APOSTROPHE.
This message was deleted by its author.
ArishMell · 61-69, M
[@414304,Colormegone] I don't know what it means, either, but the system has labelled that message as "Sensitive" so I'd better not ask! :-)
HeadGirl · 41-45, F
[@414304,Colormepink] I've a pretty good idea. Lol :)
The profligate use of unnecessary vowels as in neighbour or colour instead of the proper neighbor or color has to stop.
Also math is singular, not maths as in do the maths.
And it's while not whilst. That's just stupid.
And someone goes to the hospital. He does not just go to hospital.

Your immediate compliance with these directives is anticipated.

Or else we'll call in your war debt and repossess your country.
ArishMell · 61-69, M
They can only go by context, but respecting other country's languages - such as French - and understanding etymology are not their strong points!

I have a book on the basics of "CAD" (Computer-Aided Draughting - of technical drawings) and was annoyed to find it spells "metre" as "meter" despite being by a British author and publisher, albeit printed in Malaysia.
SW User
We distinguish it by context
Asificair · M
Someones always got to be different 🤷‍♂️
SW User
[@837854,HeadGirl] you guys across the pond ever heard of slang!? I guess not aye.... ☺️
Asificair · M
[@837854,HeadGirl] 😐️
SW User
[@854658,Asificair] 🤪
luv2fish · 61-69, M
How about parking stall bandits????
HeadGirl · 41-45, F
[@176676,luv2fish] That's a new one on me. Where did you get that from?
luv2fish · 61-69, M
[@837854,HeadGirl] Just made it up. Our city just putting in parking meters (aka parking stall bandits) all over the city and is charging everyong $3/hr to park where it was all free before. So we don't go downtown anymore.
SW User
Yes we are all just wrong because we were here years ago to create the language.
This message was deleted by its author.
SW User
[@837854,HeadGirl] Why are you so insulting? He was answering your question. Jesus. You need help.
HeadGirl · 41-45, F
[@353941,Meowsolini] Insulting? I was merely being sarcastic in response to him after he missed the entire point of my question. If you think that's insulting, you are the one who needs help.
This message was deleted by the author of the main post.

 
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