I’m very excited again this week to join a talented group of women bloggers in an online, unedited flash mob free write. This week, the word-prompt given to us by our fearless leader Kate Motaung (whose wonderful blog can be found at katemotaung.com) is “same”. My timer is set for 5 minutes; ready, set,

Same? Really, Kate? When I opened my email this morning and saw that Kate had chosen this word, I groaned. Well, not literally, but inwardly. I didn’t have a clue what to write on that topic.

Oh, I could write about how we humans are the same but not really the same. Or I could share how my life was never the same . . . after I got married, had a child, had a 2nd one, was widowed . . . I’m sure you get my drift.

But none of those options spoke to me. For inspiration, I checked the dictionary definition of the word to see if there was a meaning I wasn’t thinking of that would spark some sort of response.

The dictionary didn’t let me down!

According to Mr. Webster, “same” can be either an adjective or an adverb (I knew that, of course — I’m not an English teacher for nothing!). But it was his definitions that caught my eye.

As an adjective, this word means “identical“.

As an adverb, the exact same (used as an adjective there, so you know what that means) word means “similarly“.

Now that’s interesting! In case you missed the distinction, the meaning for the word is not the same when it changes form. Let me reiterate: the same word has a distinctly different meaning depending on what other type of word it modifies*. 🙂

Now, if that isn’t irony, I don’t know what is!


*Note for the non-grammarians out there. An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun. An adverb modifies a verb, adjective or another adverb.