How do you know when someone is truly sorry? When they’re contrite. Sorry’s most common use is in an apology, where it acknowledges, and suggests regret for, something one has done to another. It can also simply describe this feeling of regret about an action (He was sorry to have forgotten her birthday). Contrite suggests a sincere feeling of remorse or, in Christian contexts, repentance. In religious texts, contrite is frequently applied to the heart or spirit. In general usage, it is commonly found paired with the verbs “to be,” “to look,” “to sound” and “to appear” or modifying nouns such as expression, statement, or tone, all of which gauge the credibility of an apology.
Both verbs suggest prompting or encouraging a person or group to undertake something or to pursue something, Motivate refers to giving a person or group a reason or a desire to do a thing, or to pursue it with more drive (players motivated by a monetary prize; the teacher who motivated her to go to college). Galvanize refers to stimulating or energizing a person or group into action, particularly by provoking a response. The typical object of galvanize is a large group—the public, voters, the community, a movement—or the collective sentiment, opinion, efforts or actions of a group (a speech that galvanized public opinion).
Both words refer to activities engaged in by businesses or other enterprising organizations to gain public attention, such as advertising campaigns or press junkets. However, there are no ballyhoo departments. Publicity is the official and neutral term. Ballyhoo refers specifically, and usually dismissively, to a noisy style of promotion that is blatant, excessive, or extravagant. It’s commonly paired with “hype” and often appears preceded by “much” or “all the”: the play premiered amid much ballyhoo. In general usage, ballyhoo is sometimes used more loosely to mean media attention and public buzz no matter the source. Inevitably, what receives the ballyhoo doesn’t merit the clamor surrounding it.