Sunday, September 26, 2021


 Writer's Pantrv #89, and I've indulged in a bit of word play.  Heaven knows the English language provides enough fodder for the mill when it comes to word play.  Submitted to Poets & Storytellers United,  September 26, 2021.


                WHAT'S UP?

The English language has lots of idiosyncrasies,

 not the least of which is  the little word up.  

Attempting to explain it to someone learning 

English is a lesson in frustration.  Give up, 

for example, is to concede, hold up is to rob;

and a tossup is equally divided.  While makeup 

 means cosmetics applied to one’s face, to make up 

is to mend a  fractured relationship.  Put up 

implies to restore to proper place; but undesired 

people are someone you won’t put up with.  

To begin is to start up, but an impertinent 

person is an upstart.  A person over-impressed 

with themselves is said to be stuck up (or uppity), but to 

rob at gunpoint is a stickup. There are numerous

more uses,  but it’s best to simply avoid  the word 

up when helping someone learn English,  It just 

leaves guessed it...all mixed up.  It’s no 

surprise a common greeting is WHAT’S UP?


  1. Bravo luv your wit

    Thanks for dropping by to read mine


  2. I read this poem. Guess which way my thumbs are pointing.

  3. Very whimsical and fun piece ❤️

  4. Yes, up is a weird word. "Sit down, children, and sit up!"

    1. ...not to be confused with a eet-up, of course!

  5. This is a delight to read, Bev. And so very true.

  6. Replies
    1. I'll leave "down" to y ou, Joel. It has just as many possibilities. The gauntlet is thrown!

    2. Hmmm... I guess I stepped in that one. I'll have to work on it.

  7. So, dear Bev ... I will not utter the obvious SHUT THE H**L UP. A funny poem, loved it.

    1. well if you can't keep up it's time to shape up!

  8. this is an absolute delight to read. :)
    * two thumbs up! *

  9. this was so clever bev, i really enjoyed this, and you nailed it. back when i managed warehouses i ran into this problem all the time. i had so many employees who were not native english speakers, and while all of them were hard working and intelligent, things like what you demonstrate here could really twist them up. i had to be careful how i worded things, it could get a little weird if i didn't. well done bev, loved this.