Sunday, January 3, 2010

What's UP with the English Language?

I got this from a blogger who got it from someone else, whom she didn't reference. So listen up.

The word 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, why are 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.

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.

A drain must be opened up when it is stopped up. We open up a store in the morning and close it up at night. When the sky becomes gray, we say it's clouding up, but when the sun comes up we say it's clearing up. When it rains it messes things up.

We seem to be pretty mixed up about up. Maybe we should look it up in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, up takes up almost 1/4 of the page and can add up to about 30 definitions. If you are up to it, try building up a list of the uses of up. It will take up a lot of your time. But don't give up.

I could go on but I'll wrap it up. My time is up, so I'll shut up.

1 comment:

Chastina said...

I've never thought about that before. It's interesting to see the evolution of a language.