Being a bit uppity

Looking for something on my computer the other day, I came across this paen to the word "up" which was sent to me some time ago. It needs no explanation, other than to say that it's not entirely original. If it is yours, let me know and I will give you a credit. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when I first read it.

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, and then get UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP, and why do we speak UP about it. Why are politicians UP for election and why is it UP to the electorate whether or not they get in. And why does a journalist write UP a report about the new government?

We call UP our friends. We can brighten UP a room with flowers, or freshen UP the decor with a lick of paint. We polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and, if you are so-minded, your hobby might be to fix UP old cars.

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. You need to open UP a drain if it is blocked UP. You might also open UP a shop in the morning - but don't forget to close it UP at night.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. And if it doesn't rain for a while, the ground will dry UP, which might make it easier to dig UP, which is handy if it is the time to plant UP the garden.

Given all this, it's hardly surprising if non-English speakers get mixed UP about UP, and they might be even more bewildered if they look UP the word in a dictionary. In my Chambers English Dictionary UP takes UP almost four pages, with UP to 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.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP now, because I've filled UP the page.

OK, I'll shut UP.

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