Words that sound alike but don't look alike (called "homophones")
Words that look alike but don't sound alike (called "homographs")
"IMHO" means, as usual, "in my humble opinion". The definitions in that row are my preferences.
I prefer to have "homograph" defined nearly the same way it's defined in the OED,
the only difference being that I don't think words with the same
meaning should be excluded from being homographs. I believe
that the most interesting homograph pair of all is one where the two
words have come from two completely different etyma and have converged
to have the same spelling, pronunciation and
meaning. Homographs of that sort are probably extremely rare
in English, but someone has proposed "biddy" as a
candidate. It can refer to a woman. In one
derivation, "biddy" has come as a nickname for "Bridget". In
the other derivation it has come from an earlier word for a
chicken. Dictionaries don't support this theory
unequivocally, but neither do they firmly deny that it's valid.
I dislike a requirement that homographs must be pronounced differently.
This would, for example, keep the
two meanings of "repair" from comprising a homograph pair.
I like the OCEL point of view that treats "homonym" as a three-way split. (See note 3.)
I prefer not to require that homophones
have different meanings. This would prevent "tyre" and
"tire" from being homophones, and I think they should be.