The Creative Use of “UP”


I came across this rather funny story about the use of UP, a word that has six functions in English: noun, verb, preposition, adjective, adverb and a phrasal verb. Read this one and you will get a good laugh out of it. Source courtesy of Marílla Escramo.

This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word. That word is up. It is listed in the dictionary as an adverb, preposition, adjective, noun or verb. It’s easy to understand up, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when 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, if there is a tie, it is a toss-up, 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 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.

And this up can be confusing. A drain must be opened up because it is blocked 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 ¼ 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 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 up to a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it’s 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.

So did this while thing crack you up?

Send this on to everyone you look up in your address book……. Or not…… it’s up to you.  🙂

And to end this up, here’s a quote that will up your knowledge: Whenever you are down, the only way to go up in the world is up.  Any questions? 😉 



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