Friday, October 28, 2011


Up.  A funny word.  Say it five times fast and it's even funnier.  It morphs into pup.

When I teach a piano student their first lesson I usually say, "Look up."  
As we gaze at my studio ceiling I go on, "All your life that's been up.  But in piano up is to the right of the keyboard and down is to your left."  We explore high and low sounds, adding to their confusion.

 Are you UP to reading a blog devoted totally to this two-letter word?  "What's up?" we often ask in greeting.  That morphed a few years back into, "Wassup?"

We're up to our neck in ups.  It has more meanings than any other two-letter English word.

Now I get it that the sky is up or you move up to the top of the list.  But in the morning, why do we wake up?  Why not wake over because I usually roll out of bed?  Eventually.

At a meeting why does a topic come up?  Why do we speak up then listen up?  Politicians come up for election and secretaries write up reports.

In one day I might make up my bed then put on my make-up, call up a friend, brighten up a room by polishing up the furniture, fix up my hair, gas up my car, figure up my taxes, heat up leftovers, clean up the kitchen then lock up the house.

This tiny word is packed full of meaning.  People stir up trouble, line up for tickets, work up an appetite then think up excuses for over-eating.

To be dressed is one thing but to dress up is special.  You do that when you go uptown.

Up can also be confusing.  A drain must be opened up because it's stopped up.  Both are actually down so that really makes little sense.

We open up a store in the morning but also close it up at night.  We seem to be pretty mixed up about up.

When it threatens to rain, we say it's clouding up.  When it rains, the earth soaks it up.  When the sun comes out, we say it's clearing up. When it does not rain, things dry up. Whether you like it or not, the weather is always up to something.

Daddy used to tell me to straighten up when I was up to no good.  My 5'2" Mama told me to stand up tall and be proud of my 5'6" height when I slumped at age 12!

To be knowledgeable about the proper use of the word up, look up up and you'll find that in a desk-sized dictionary, it takes up 1/4 of the page defining it.  This adds up to about 30 meanings.

If you're up to it, build up your own list of the many ways up is used.  I doubt you'll use up all the ideas out there.  It may take up some time but if you don't give up, you might wind up with 100 or more.

One could go on and on but I'll wrap it up for now.  

Hm-mmmm. . .on and on.  I may have another blog idea.

Upended on this one!
How many ups are in this blog?  Leave your best guess in COMMENTS.


  1. 65. 66 if you count "up" in "Pup" in the 1st sentence. 67 if you count to second title in the "Blog Archive" to the right.

  2. Don't count pup or Archive, Victor. And your total count is?

  3. I counted 68...I think. I might have messed...up. :)

  4. I say 68 if you include the title of the blog, both the title and the content of the you-tube video, the question at the end of the blog, and words like "uptown" or "upended".

  5. 68 it is! You're ALL winners in my book!

  6. Ahhhh, '68... the year I graduated from HS (1968, that is). A good year for the UP-coming year at FWBBC.