Contact the Grammar Anarchist with your questions about grammar and language at
Get a personal reply at

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What's the difference between recover and re-cover?

That little hysterical hyphen is a hyper hypnotist in that it can completely hype a word. Recover means “to get well, heal”. Re-cover means “to put on a new cover”. Same with remark and re-mark; remark means “to say something”; re-mark means “to mark it again”. Got it? Take care in using the re-words. (Okay reword means “to word it again”; that’s all!)

2 comments: said...

Sunday's newspaper had a headline about engineers who were spurred to "re-reverse the Chicago River". Is that a word?

The Grammar Anarchist said...

I guess it is a word if "you read it in the newspaper". NOT! Newspapers don't always get it right. In this case, however, yes, you can reverse something, then re-reverse it (do it all over again).