Friday, 19 December 2008

Headline words: Revamp

School ready for revamp

Revamp: to replace the vamp, or the upper of a shoe. Nothing to do with vamping, or being vampish in the way of Vampira Queen of the Night who vants to suck your blood.

It's an extensive change -- a revamped shoe would be stripped back to the sole and remade. This word is best reserved for an extreme make-over, rather than a lick of paint and some new hanging baskets.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Spelling Thursday: Formally and formerly

These two are less of a problem once you know there's a trap here. Think about what you are saying:
  • If you are referrering to how something used to be, you want 'former'.
  • If you want to describe an action that is according to convention or etiquette, it's 'formal'.

Then tack the -ly on the end, and you're away.

As seen in the wild:
'The artist formerly known as Prince has changed his name to a hard-to-describe symbol.'

'My dog Socks is formally known as Lady Arwen Evenstar of Featherstonehough III -- that's her Kennel Club name.'