- Education and Science
Ever Think About The Word-UP
Hello There, VivBounty here with one of the quirky words of the English language. The word up is just one of many which give folks trying to learn English difficulty.
As I mentioned in a comment on another hub, we have words in the English language which can have many meanings. One such tiny word is the 'up'.
Dictionary reference.com lists the definition as follows:
up [uhp] Show IPA adverb, preposition, adjective, noun, verb, upped, up⋅ping.
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 and why is it up to the secretary to write up a report? We call up our friends and brighten up a room,
We polish up the silver, warm up the leftovers and clean up the kitchen. We lock the house up and some guys fix up an old car.
At other times this little two-letter 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.
Here is a conflicting use of the word up:
A drain must be opened up because it is stopped up or blocked up.
We open up a store in the morning but we close it up at night.
No wonder folks are so mixed up about the word up!
I invite you to look up the word up in as many online and printed dictionaries as you can find to see just how many uses and ways this little word is used. You will see that it takes up a quarter to a half of the page and I bet you find about 30 uses of the word. If you are really keen, you might even find 100 or more uses and ways to use the word up.
Here are some 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 wets up the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry up.
If this doesn't bore you too much, I may share with you another funny group of words, which have the opposite effect. Whereas up is one word with many meanings, these different words all have the same meaning. Look these words up and see if you can explain the differences between them:
One reason for this may possibly be that some words in English have several roots, i.e. Latin, French, German and now as the world gets smaller, I suspect words from many more languages will be imported.
In my travels, I have had my share of challenges with the combination of languages, quite often resorting to gestures in the absence of a translation dictionary but I wouldn't trade the cultural experiences for anything in the world.