There is a two letter word in the English language which perhaps has more definitions than any other. It can be an adjective, preposition, adverb, noun or verb. It’s the name of a film, the title of a song (probably more than one), it describes feelings, locations, actions and more.
This word is ‘up’.
It’s easy to understand up when we’re referring to the location of the sky or making our way to the top of something, but first thing in the morning, why do we wake up? Or maybe as you’re reading this you’re tucked up in bed?
Why do we ask people to speak up? What is it that makes people sneak up? At UWESU I was up for election, it was up to me to get out and talk to students, I wrote up my manifesto and called up my friends to help me.
Turning on a light brightens up a room, we polish up silver, warm up leftovers and clean up the kitchen; a task which includes washing up and drying up too. We lock up when leaving the house, fix up old cars. When things go wrong we get fed up, for special occasions we get dressed up, you can see why it gets confusing!
I don’t mean to stir up trouble by bringing this up but why do we have to queue up for tickets? Before dinner why do we work up an appetite and if you haven’t done your homework why is it you’d better think up an excuse? When a pipe gets blocked up you have to open it up, when it’s threatening rain the sky clouds up, after the storm it starts to clear up…shopkeepers both open up and close up. It’s easy to get mixed up when it comes to up!
If you’re up for it you could look it up in a dictionary, in some it takes up almost a quarter of a page, up to 30 definitions! Then you could build up a list of all the different uses; it would take up a lot of time but don’t give up, you never know what you mind end up with!
I really could go on all day but I’m going to wrap it up now. As quizmasters say, ‘time’s up’.
So, this is me, shutting up.