Friday, March 17, 2006

English oh English!!

Sensei MM, this one's for you.

No wonder the English language is one of the hardest to learn....

Fun for everyone, but especially the lovers of the English language!

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any
other two-letter word, and that is "UP."

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 we use it to brighten UP a room,
polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the
kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has 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. 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 the word UP
in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost
1/4th 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 wets UP the
earth. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP,
so............. Time to shut UP.....!

Source unknown.


  1. Anonymous4:20 PM

    WOW...Wow...We have to catch up on Happy's post..So, Hurry up! Hurry up!!! Adding more (Up) here for cheering us up!!!!

  2. Head's UP everybody, this is a nice write UP.

  3. ... this is right UP your alley and with the weekend coming UP; have a Nice One!

  4. Hello Pinkpanther! That sure is an up-tempo comment. I like that. Have a great w/e.

    Agus, thanks! So what's up this w/e?

    FH2o, enjoy your w/e kayakking up-river. Looking up to you for some nice, nice pictures.

  5. You've come UP with a pretty good write-UP about how mixed UP the English language is, which is right UP my alley. Allow me to UP the ante and turn UP the heat by taking UP this topic and filling UP a bit more comment space and turn it all UPside down by calling UP the store of knowledge locked UP in my head. I just eat this stuff UP, which is why I'm all riled UP. You've started me UP, I'm all hung UP on it, and it's UP, UP, UP and away!

    (Alright...I give UP. This is all fouled UP anyway, but you have to 'fess UP that it was a pretty souped-UP send UP. Or was it all a set-UP? Don't get UPset!!!)

  6. I spent the weekend in rather international company last weekend (1 Danish married to an American, 1 American with Cuban roots, married to a Canadian & me) & we got to talking about common phrases that mean one thing in one place & something ENTIRELY different elsewhere, in a way that's likely to cause misunderstandings. Like, if an American travels to London & a member of the hotel staff offers to knock them up in the mornin.

    To the Brit, knocking someone up just means giving them a morning wake-up call.

    In the U.S., "getting knocked up" is slang for getting pregnant.

  7. Hmm...that reminds of of the time I was in college (in America), and a female student from the UK suddenly turned around and said, "Do you have a rubber I can borrow?"

    "Rubber" means "eraser" in British English and "condom" in American.

    Oh, well...the characters 手紙 mean "letter" in Japanese and "toilet paper" in Chinese!

  8. Anonymous2:26 PM

    Sure there’re lots of Interesting English Words, not just the phrasal words.
    E.G. some words that you could read them from left to right or from right to left could forms a meaning too:

    --: May a moody baby doom a yam?

    --: Step on no pets.

  9. I'm not sure yet happy. Haven't come up with anything yet. Plan to get some friends together but worried they might not turn up due to short notice. Oh well, maybe I'll wise up, stay home and save up on petrol.

  10. May a moody baby doom a yam?

    How did you know my children like yams?

  11. Up Up and away.. or someone has already said this...

  12. haha MM, that's a pretty upbeat piece. Thanks for the laugh.

    Bonnie, that's a good one, like MM's story of the rubber.

    Even words in Chinese dialects can lead to misunderstandings. I remember this story of two people who almost got into a fight when one meant the word as 'tell' (Teochew) while the other took it as an invitation to fight (Hakka). Same word, different inflection.

  13. Pinkpanther, good ones too. haha..

    Agus, staying home could be fun too. I read a very interesting little booklet last w/e.

    Robin, somehow 'up, up and away' always reminds me of a hot air balloon.

    Thank you, All.