Here’s something I thought would be fun to share. I’m not who came up with this, but it’s too interesting to not mention.
There’s a word in the English language that can be used as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, or preposition. And the word is…
This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word. It’s 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 (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 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 blocked 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 (UP to) 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 a while, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now . . . My time is UP!
Did that crack you UP?
Now I’ll shut UP!
Yes, a lot of these examples are redundancies and can be omitted when polishing up a manuscript, but it’s still interesting that in each context, the word UP makes perfect sense!