Today, children, we take up the subject of homonyms.
What's that, Johnny? No, no, those aren't words used to describe queers. They are words that sound alike, but are spelled differently, and can have different meanings. Like, "to" and "two," or "see," and "sea." They are words that make developing voxware for your computer an interesting challenge.
Some authorities also include words that are spelled and pronounced the same but have different meanings, such as "pole," and "pole," or spelled alike but pronounced differently and with different meanings, such as "read," and "read." Johnny can pole a raft, on his way to visit his friend Herumin the Pole. Or, Johnny can read his assignment or Johnny has already read his assignment, which, as we all know, is wishful thinking, because Johnny is more likely to sprout wings and fly than do his fracking homework ...
But never mind that. Back to the subject at hand.
Today's words are "phase," and "faze." Just yesterday, I saw a book in which the writer, editor, and copy editor allowed one of these homonyms to slip by. Shame on them.
"Phase," has to do with a period of time, or a stage of development. Such as "phase of the moon," or what teenagers do when their parents are desperate to try and explain their foolish behavior. "It's just a phase she's going through." (Please, God!)
"Faze," means to affect something or somebody, usually negatively. "The sight of the gun pointed at him didn't faze Biff." Use of the term "phased," would be incorrect here -- unless, of course, the gun was in Captain Kirk's hand and he missed the shot. In which case Biff could be both "unfazed," and "unphased ..."
Writers sometimes mistake one of these words for the other.
They should knot do this ...