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.
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 them...you guessed it...all mixed up. It’s no
surprise a common greeting is WHAT’S UP?