Just a note to praise the tiny word that is used so much and in so many ways. It’s a simple word, yet it has more meanings and uses than any other word in the American language. So, here’s to the word: Up. It’s a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and preposition.
This simple, two-character word props up many a sentence and can be seen and heard in nearly every conversation.
While we can all easily understand using the word Up as a direction (such as when pointing toward the sky), it becomes a little more confusing when it’s used to describe awakening in the morning (waking up) or to describe our confusion (mixed up).
So, here are some of the ways in which the word Up has enriched our lives and our language:
- He brought that topic up at the meeting.
- She stepped up.
- She has to write up a report.
- I’m fed up.
- He’s really fired up about this.
- He needs to grow up.
- Would you please speak up?
- I need to call up my doctor after I look up the number.
- Opening up the windows helped brighten up the room.
- Warm up the leftovers before you eat them; then clean up the kitchen.
- Be sure to lock up the house.
- Let’s open up the house.
- Can you fix up the car?
- Never give up.
- He’s always stirring up
- They lined up for tickets.
- They really worked up an appetite.
- She’s always thinking up
- To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed up is special.
- A drain must be opened up because it is stopped up.
- If you are up to it, go ahead.
- Sounds great, if you’re up for it.
- It’s going to take up a lot of time.
- Don’t give up.
- It clouded up; but, then it cleared up.
- She cracked up.
- Heads up.
- Let’s gear up.
- You need to look it up.
- I’ll wrap this up.
Now, I will admit that in several of the examples I’ve included, the word Up is extraneous and unnecessary. And were I writing the sentences, I would not include the word Up. For instance:
- She has to write
up a report. (The word up is totally unnecessary; yet, many people do use it in similar sentences.)
- Can you fix
up the car? (Again, it’s just as clear to say: Can you fix the car?)
- I need to call
up my doctor after… (the first instance of up is unnecessary).
- A drain must be opened
up…(again, the first instance of up isn’t needed).
- It’s going to take
up a lot of time. (Up is rather redundant and not needed.)
I think now you can see why I think we need to applaud that tiny, two-letter word, UP. It’s a hard-working, seldom-praised useful little word that shows up more often than you would think. And it’s always propping up sentences, even when it doesn’t need to.
So, two thumbs up to…