Have you ever thought about the word "UP"?
The following posted in 2010 by Conni Eversull in Proofreading.com, gave me an idea for an assignment for my English Second Language class, and I thought I would share here.
In the original post, Ms Eversull said that “she received the following from one of her editors, Marie Stewart”. She goes on to say that “neither Marie nor I could find information about the author of this piece although we found it quite a few times on the Internet without any attribution”. So I hope that whoever wrote understands how interesting people found the work.
I had the opportunity to teach English as a Second Language for a semester after I retired, and when I found this gem, I gave it to my advanced class as a reading assignment and a focus for a discussion on why English is such a hard language to understand. I started the discussion with this question: Have you ever thought about the word “UP”?
The students enjoyed the discussion and some of them even understood the humour.
This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word. It is 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, and
why is it UP to the secretary to
write UP a report?
If we are not sure of someone's address or email,
We look them UP,
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.
We tell people, Don't screw UP.
When we are angry at someone it's
To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is
And this UP is confusing:
A drain must be opened UP,
because it is stopped 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 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 awhile,
things dry UP.
One could go on & on, but I'll wrap
it UP, for now........
my time is UP!
Oh....one more thing:
What is the first thing you
do in the morning & the last thing you do at
Did that one crack you UP?
Now I'll shut UP!!
Before you tell me to Grow UP