Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


What follows is NOT something I wrote. It came to me in an email. Perhaps some of you have already seen it. What it is is an example of how wonderfully confusing the English language can be. Enjoy.

'UP,' has more meanings than any other two-letter word. It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].

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, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers, and clean UP the kitchen.

We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.
At other times this 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 UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 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 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 soaks UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now ........ my time is UP! more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night? U P !

Did that one crack you UP?

It's UP to you not to screw UP.

Now I'll shut UP.
So what's UP with you today?


  1. Hahaha you got to love English


  2. It seems to me that a lot of those usages are applications of a single concept, but I can't articulate that concept.

    Many of those ups are redundant, but many are not. To think is not the same as to think up. You can clear a drain, but you can't stop it.

    It's not just English that does this. Consider "Noch" in German, for example. A hard word to translate, and it pops up all over the place.

  3. I love the English language. I have a secret brewing. That's what's UP!

  4. I know! I blogged today about language, too. It's crazy!

  5. lol.. I loved it. I feel sorry for anyone trying to learn the english language.

  6. Who knew? Such a tiny word, such great implications...

  7. that is awesome! I shall now have to add UP to my favorite words. :)


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