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In my Spanish class we talked about the word “cara” and how it can mean the noun “face” and can also mean the adjective “expensive”.  We were all plenty familiar in English with words like pear, pair and pare — yet shook our heads at the absurdity of having to remember two such disparate meanings for exactly the same word in Spanish.  Afterwards, I thought about how many different meanings one word in English often has and realized that two different meanings aren’t a lot.  For instance:  Whales swim in pods.  Peas are lined up in their little green vegetable pods.  Years ago when my oldest son was in second grade, the classroom was arranged in so-called learning pods.  Spacecraft have pods that can separate from the main ship. And I listen to music and books on an iPod.  It was just a quick-think exercise and I came up with five different meanings for one little three letter word.  I am betting there are lots of them that have more.

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