V W Y
Versus and Verses
Versus (often abbreviated in written English to v or vs) means against in sport when naming two teams, e.g. Liverpool versus Everton tomorrow should be an exciting match, and when naming two sides in legal cases, e.g. Lucasfilm versus Ainsworth (2011). It is also used to compare two ideas or things, e.g. the public sector versus the private sector. Verses is the plural form of verse and refers to parts of songs or poems, e.g. Thomas couldn´t remember the last verse of the song. It also refers to a short part of a holy book, and writing arranged with a regular rhythm, e.g. Spencer is skilled at writing satirical verse.
Wet and Whet
Wet is an adjective and the opposite of dry. It means to be full of moisture or liquid, e.g. As I left the office it started to rain and by the time I arrived home I was wet through. It is used to describe rainy weather, e.g. If it is wet on Saturday the barbecue will be cancelled, and on signs or notices referring to recent paintwork which is not dry, e.g. Wet paint! In British English we also use wet to describe a weak person who does not express any strong opinions, e.g. Come on, why are you always so wet!, and as part of a phrase, to wet one´s whistle, which means to quench a thirst, e.g. After the meeting they wet their whistles in the local pub. In old English whet meant to sharpen, as in the blade of a knife for example. Today it means to stimulate or arouse interest and is used in the expression to whet one´s appetite, e.g. The smell of the stew cooking was whetting her appetite. It does not always refer to food though, e.g. John´s recent holiday has whetted his appetite for further travels.
Yolk and Yoke
Yolk is the yellow part of an egg surrounded by the albumen or egg white, e.g. The egg yolk in mayonnaise prevents the oil and vinegar from separating. If you ask for eggs sunny side up then they will be fried on one side with the yolks (the suns) unbroken. A yoke is a wooden bar used to fasten together two animals and connect to a vehicle. In the past it could be placed across the shoulders in order to carry buckets hanging on each end. It can also be part of a piece of clothing, usually a strip of material hanging from the shoulders and to refer to an oppressive power, e.g. They were living under the yoke of an evil tyrant.