Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#119189 - 01/08/04 05:14 PM Up
JohnHawaii Offline
member

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 171
Loc: Hawaii, USA
This may have been posted here before. Not sure how old it is:

About up.

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meaning 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 waken 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, 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 (or if it is a red Corvette, a special girl fixes it UP).
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 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 of the proper uses of UP, look UP the word in the dictionary. In a desk size dictionary, UP takes UP almost 1/4th the page and definitions add UP to about thirty.
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP 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 UP the earth. 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 I'll shut UP

Eh, what's up doc?!




Top
#119190 - 01/08/04 05:22 PM Re: Up
musick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 2658
Loc: Chicago
...and then there is *our own special interpretation of 'up'...

"Hey, sjmaxq, how's the weather way up under? Time to flip over before you burn up."


Top
#119191 - 01/08/04 07:20 PM Re: Up
consuelo Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/11/01
Posts: 2636
Loc: Caribbean
Then, of course, there is the UP of Michigan



Top
#119192 - 01/08/04 07:54 PM Re: Up
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
In many instances the use of 'up' indicates that an action has gone to completion, or at least approached it.


Top
#119193 - 01/08/04 08:08 PM Re: Up
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
And your homework, class, is to write a similar piece about any of the other prepositions commonly used in phrasal verbs.

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

Top
#119194 - 01/08/04 08:24 PM Re: Up
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 7210
Loc: Vermont
you so down, Bingley.



_________________________
formerly known as etaoin...

Top
#119195 - 01/08/04 08:31 PM Re: Up
WhitmanO'Neill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 4189
Loc: Rio Grande, Cape May County, N...
And we used to say "fix me up" or "fix us up" when we wanted a friend or somebody to help us get to know a young lady.

And, yep, *our own Upunder (ahem), comes to mind.

But why has "downer" endured from the early drug culture, becoming a part of the language, and "upper" fallen by the wayside?

"Up, up, and away!.."




Top
#119196 - 01/08/04 09:09 PM Re: Up
JohnHawaii Offline
member

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 171
Loc: Hawaii, USA
It also seems that when "up" is used in the phrasal verb form, it is generally (but not always) superfluous to the action being taken (e.g., open/close up the store). I'm not sure what purpose "up" serves in those cases.


Top
#119197 - 01/08/04 09:19 PM Re: Up
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Der Quibblemeister says you could close the store and yet
still be in it. But when you "close up" the store, you lock it and go home.


Top
#119198 - 01/08/04 09:20 PM Re: Up
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
to disambiguate the expression open/close the store perhaps? Opening a store could refer to its first establishment rather than the diurnal round.

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8729 Members
16 Forums
13805 Topics
214955 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
BILLH, GrandmaCoo, ShellsnBells, charmingthemuse, toddster
8729 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 31 Guests and 6 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
LukeJavan8 119
endymion6 107
wofahulicodoc 90
A C Bowden 48
jenny jenny 42
Tromboniator 8
Bazr 7
tsuwm 7
FoFong 4
Dennis_Lees 1
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13803
Jackie 11609
tsuwm 10521
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
AnnaStrophic 6511
LukeJavan8 6437
Wordwind 6296
of troy 5400
BranShea 5282

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 2014 Wordsmith