Words: Refurbish, v.

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FOLLOWING our discussion a few days ago about whether the alleged Cabinet "reshuffle" was only a shuffle, Barbara Applin has written to ask why moval men never take people to tirement homes and why we don't just lax instead of relaxing.

Moval men should be employed only by second-time buyers moving from a first house. Subsequent moves are removal. Relaxing is, I think, more relaxing than laxing: it suggests that looseness (from the Latin laxus, loose) is more natural than tension.

The one I cannot explain is refurbish. Since furbish itself means to renovate or polish up, there is no need to prefix it with re-, even if you have furbished it before. On the other hand, you cannot novate anything unless you throw it away and buy a new one.