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up to you.

Postby Bailey » Sat Jan 05, 2008 12:14 pm

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP."

It's easy to understand UP , meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special .

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP . We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP ! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP , look the wordUP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will takeUP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP , you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP .

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP .

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now my time is UP , so....... Time to shut UP .!

Oh...one more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night? U-P


mark shutting-up Bailey

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since you brought it up...

Postby melissa » Sat Jan 05, 2008 7:25 pm

hehe U-P, good one. It is strange though, as 'up' is generally considered positive, but often takes the place of 'down', as in "your time is up", which seems totally non-intuitive to me.
The device of using verb+prep is very productive in Germanic languages, and overloads a lot of words like 'up' but it's curious that 'down' on the other hand tends to have a more literal meaning. In English at least, 'up' can express both beginning and finishing. Start up, end up.
Word up: seems related to hypo and sub, so the word has had contradictory meaning for a while.
And languagehat tries to clear up "on the up and up." Hey had to look it up.

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Postby Perry » Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:05 pm

It certainly is a ubiquitous term. It is even there when we mess up.
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Postby gailr » Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:20 am

Good observations Bailey, but language has both ups and downs...

You sit down with someone to work things out.
You can go down with the ship.
You can come down with the flu.
You can protest: "Down With [x]."
You can get bogged down with trivia.
Leopards can lie down with lambs.
You can wash your dinner down with a cheap wine.
I'm not sure if I'm down with any of this.

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Postby Stargzer » Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:20 am

Actually, UP sounds like either a potential GWOTD or a special article on grammar and idiom for Dr. Goodword's Office.

Doc?
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Postby sluggo » Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:53 pm

You can wash your dinner down with a cheap wine, but you have to wash up first.

This brings up the memory of a rock 'n' roll radio station in mine teen years that dreamed up the slogan "We upped our hemlines- up yours!" There being no uproar, the upshot boiled down to neither upbraiding nor downtime.

"Down cellar", said the cricket...
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Postby Bailey » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:10 am

but it is a short word, right?

mark perhaps-I-should-suggest-it? Bailey

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Postby sluggo » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:15 pm

Bailey wrote:but it is a short word, right?

mark perhaps-I-should-suggest-it? Bailey


Until you wrote this and I looked up to the category I thought we were already in Suggestions. Perhaps we might move the whole thread...
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