Thursday, 6 March 2008


This two-letter English word has a ridiculous number of meanings.

It's easy to understand up, meaning higher, but why do we wake up every morning?

Why do meeting topics come up?

Why do we speak up?

Why are officers up for election?

Why is it up to the secretary to write up a report?

We call up friends, brighten up rooms, polish up silver, warm up leftovers, and clean up kitchens.

We lock up our house.

We open up a store in the morning and close it up at night.

Some guys fix up old cars.

People stir up trouble, line up for tickets, work up appetites, and think up excuses.

It's special to get dressed up, yet if a drain gets stopped up, it must be opened up.

When it threatens to rain, it clouds up, yet when the sun comes out it clears up.

Rain wets up the earth but when it doesn't rain things dry up.

To learn about the uses of up, look up up in a dictionary; its definition takes up half a page, adding up to thirty or more definitions. If you feel up to it, build up a list of its many uses. It will take up a lot of time, but if you don't give up, you may well wind up with over a hundred.

I could go on and on, but my time is up, so I'll wrap it up before I'm told to shut up!

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