Posted By: JohnHawaii Up - 01/08/04 10:14 PM
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?!

Posted By: musick Re: Up - 01/08/04 10:22 PM
...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."

Posted By: consuelo Re: Up - 01/09/04 12:20 AM
Then, of course, there is the UP of Michigan

Posted By: wwh Re: Up - 01/09/04 12:54 AM
In many instances the use of 'up' indicates that an action has gone to completion, or at least approached it.

Posted By: Bingley Re: Up - 01/09/04 01:08 AM
And your homework, class, is to write a similar piece about any of the other prepositions commonly used in phrasal verbs.

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu Re: Up - 01/09/04 01:24 AM
you so down, Bingley.

Posted By: WhitmanO'Neill Re: Up - 01/09/04 01:31 AM
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!.."

Posted By: JohnHawaii Re: Up - 01/09/04 02:09 AM
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.

Posted By: wwh Re: Up - 01/09/04 02:19 AM
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.

Posted By: Bingley Re: Up - 01/09/04 02:20 AM
to disambiguate the expression open/close the store perhaps? Opening a store could refer to its first establishment rather than the diurnal round.

Posted By: JohnHawaii Re: Up - 01/09/04 05:59 AM
Maybe these would be better illustrations of my point, quoting from above:

"...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..."

Hard to see much change in nuance when the UP is deleted.

Posted By: Bingley Re: Up - 01/09/04 01:41 PM
I dunno. I might lock a door but I wouldn't lock up a door. If I locked up the house, I think it would be a much more elaborate process involving going round checking the windows, locking several doors, setting burglar alarms and so on.

Similarly if you said you'd cleaned up the kitchen rather than just cleaned it, I would visualise the kitchen being restored to order after a five-course meal for twenty rather than just a few tops being wiped down.

Posted By: Faldage Re: Up - 01/09/04 01:49 PM
We call UP our friends, we use it to brighten UP a room

Calling our friends and calling up our friends might not suggest any great differences in nuance, but calling up the troops is a world away from calling the troops.

To me, brightening a room would be done by adding lighting, brightening up a room would be done by repainting the walls a lighter color, washing the windows, maybe even putting in new windows where none were before.

Posted By: WhitmanO'Neill Re: Up - 01/09/04 04:10 PM
And what, pray tell, is the nuance of difference between close up and up close?

Posted By: maverick Re: Up - 01/09/04 04:17 PM
I think "up close and personal" suggests the elevation to an eye-level threat with invasion of your personal space bubble... kind of how someone's body language actually works when they stretch to their full height before breathing their garlic fumes in your face!

Posted By: AnnaStrophic Re: Up 'n' down - 01/09/04 04:18 PM
When I was a teacher of ESL, I had a hell of a time explaining the difference between burn up and burn down, slow up and slow down, etc. I'm not sure I really even know.

Posted By: Faldage Re: Close Up Close - 01/09/04 04:19 PM
Depends on is it kloz up or klos up.

Posted By: wwh Re: Close Up Close - 01/09/04 04:24 PM
Confucius say, no such thing as rxxx. Woman with klos up can run faster than man with klos down.

Posted By: JohnHawaii Close Up - 01/09/04 09:50 PM
"And what, pray tell, is the nuance of difference between close up and up close?"

"Close Up" is a registered trademark for a brand of toothpaste that implies an improved "up close" relationship.

Posted By: wow Re: Scatology : "Up" - 01/10/04 02:06 PM
O, ye of faint heart! Tiptoeing around the rude "UP yours!"

Posted By: Faldage Re: Scatology : "Up" - 01/10/04 02:35 PM
faint heart

Because we're talking about particles of phrasal verbs and 'up' in your example is a preposition.

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu Re: Scatology : "Up" - 01/10/04 02:48 PM
would that be one of them "prepositional crossovers?"

Posted By: Wordwind Re: Nuances - 01/11/04 03:14 PM
For the record, I do hear and feel a nuance of meaning change between such verbal phrases as 'straighten a closet' and 'straighten up a closet.' If I straighten up anything, I'm aiming for the high side of my straightening capabilities, which are sorely limited, let me assure you. If I'm straightening a room, I'm making it look in reasonable order on my scale, which is by far lower than average. But if I'm set on straightening up a room, the level is higher because the word 'up' suggests the heights. Up is [oh, let me holding my ridiculously-beating romantic's heart] a word of spiritual ascent with wings upon it. To straighten something is one thing, but straighten up something is different, yes, in the very nuance you all were discussing. Something straightened up is glowing with order. And if I've straightened up something, then on the scale, I've attained the heights for me and probably just about average on normal folks' scale.

We have here in the States the cola that makes you feel up seven days a week:


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