Posted by: Jack Henry | March 25, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Heads Up!

Good morning folks. I would like to take a minute to thank all of you for the attention you pay to improving your grammar, punctuation, and conversation skills. Almost every day I get great ideas, questions, suggestions, and kind notes, and I appreciate you for that.

Today’s little blurb is about a term I use out loud, but I avoid in writing because I wasn’t sure how to use it correctly! I stumbled on this article last night at the Grammarist, and thought I’d share it with you. (Click the link if you want to see their examples, too.)

Heads Up!

Heads upis an interjection used when you need to warn someone to look out. A heads-up is the actual warning you gave the individual. This is commonly used in the phrase giving someone a heads-up. While the correct spelling includes the hyphen, actual usage suggests that it will become obsolete some day.

Heads-up can also be used as an adjective to describe a person as being cautious or aware of surroundings. Keeping one’s head up means to be watchful.

Be aware that the verb head can also mean to lead, so to say, “She heads up the project” means that she directs the project.

A head-up display is a gauge or reading which does not require the pilot or driver to lower his or her eyes. It can also be called a heads-up display.

A related term is head up which is used in sailing to mean steer into the wind.

And while I don’t condone tormenting dogs or feeding them people food, I have to say that Fritz here could use a lesson on what “Heads Up!” means: Fritz – The World’s Least Deadly Catch.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

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