Monday, December 21, 2009

Words I'm Looking Up (One in an occasional, cleverly named series on words I'm looking up)


In a fashion article I was editing today, the writer had said that a hairpiece metamorphosizes an entire ensemble.

I stared at it for a long time try to figure out why it seemed both right and wrong. In the end, all I figured out is that it's wrong -- at least, according to Webster's New World and, anyway.

Both dictionaries say the verb form of metamorphosis is metamorphose. No "ize."

Though it sure seems I hear a lot of people "ize" that word. I bet I've done it myself.

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Mallory said...

I'm still stuck on hairpiece! Is it the most underrated accessory or something? I guess all those times I put an outfit on and thought, hmmm, this outfit needs something, I needed a hairpiece!

June Casagrande said...

Good catch. Yes, there was much wrangling on "hairpiece," which later was changed to "hair piece" and then "head piece."

The writer was trying to describe things like headbands and decorative combs and tiaras. But I kept seeing toupees!

LL Blackwell said...

Yeah, "hair piece" definitely says "toupee" to me. Yikes!

And I really like "ize" on things, although metamorphose is kind of awkward either way.

June Casagrande said...

I don't usually admit it in public, but I kind of like "ize," too. Even the reviled "incentivize." Of course, not everyone has the skill to use it well. (You know the guy I'm talking about -- the one with the solid-color tie, the complete mastery of Powerpoint and the Tivo full of "Nightly Business Report." That dude needs to step away from the "incentize" -- and the "synergize," too.)

Linnee said...

This is how to metamorphose an outfit:

There. Now I get to say that I've used "metamorphose," my new vocabulary word.

June Casagrande said...

Wow. I've been doing it ALL wrong.

Where's the on-hands-and-knees searching under the bed for the lost sock? Where's the smelling of the shirt to see whether you can get away with wearing it one more time? Where's the picking up the sleeping cat out of the basket of still-unfolded laundry?

Seriously, the first couple changes weren't very impressive. But toward the end, I was wowed.

You've metamorphosed my understanding of how to dress myself.

: )


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