Last month, I received an e-mail about the many uses of the word ‘UP’. I have added a few thoughts of my own and printed it in italics below. It’s amazing to me how such a simple word has so many different uses and meanings in the English language. Enjoy exploring a most interesting aspect of our English language!
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 ask what’s UP, but really don’t want to know what is UP.
We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP !
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP 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 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 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……..it is 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 :-)
What other two-letter english word has as many different uses? I can’t think of any. Can you?