What’s up?

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READERS of wordsbybob:

I intend to have most posts be my original thoughts but I couldn’t pass this one up. It came in an email from my friend Darla. It not sourced, so I guess it is just one of those items that is created in cyberspace. If I knew the author, I would acknowledge him or her.

 There is a two-letter word in English that has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is ‘UP.

It is listed in the dictionary as being used as an adverb, preposition, adjective, noun and verb.

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 re-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 a 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.

Moreover, 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 wets UP the earth. When it does not rain for a while, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now … my time is UP, so time to shut UP!

Oh…one more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night? U P

Now I’ll shut UP.


5 responses to “What’s up?

  1. Woody Woodward

    Here is word for you, but it isn’t in English. Our mission team is preparing for what will be my 8th mission trip to the former Soviet Union and by osmosis I have learned a little Russian. One of their words that has confused me is: “Your are welcome and Please.” Two almost words and very different meaning for us, but in Russian, “Pazhalusta,” is Please, and “Pazhalusta,” the very same word is, You are welcome. Thought I would share, for what it’s worth?

  2. Jennifer Peters

    Well, when you have the chance to look at the uses of UP all together, it appears that UP, which actually has a definitive definition, as in going in a direction, becomes a filler word, like um or hmm. Almost every sentence you’ve written on there can be used without the word UP entirely (except the slang terms) and the sentence is still clear; in fact probably more clear to a non-native speaker. It’s use appears looks like it is used most as a non-descript adverb such as “really” which might cheapen a clever description it follows.

  3. Thanks. That is and interesting observation. I hadn’t thought of it that way.

  4. RaiulBaztepo

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  5. You are welcome. Maybe you can see some of the uses of English from my posts.