Skip to content
September 30, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Word flippers. Up, Chuck.

Sculptures: Ice and Arm. 2006 Art project Polarfront.Birgit Mieding, Johannes Freitag, Ingo Sikorski. Entrance to DSM and AWI of Bremerhaven Germany. Arm is by sculptor Balkenhol/Hannes Grobe/

Here’s a bit of a reach. (DSM/AWI/Hannes Grobe/

Word flippers, like house flippers, are ready to rip out things up. Toss the traditional.

Even Autumn, feeling edgy, adopts a street name, Fall, to be flip and cool. So what’s next? Stormy? Windy? Sunny? Sounds a bit tawdry like the stripper names in that old joke. What creative the tags the other seasons will adopt?

The Pope has “self-honesty” rather than simply being “honest” or  “truthful” (On the scene reporter popped this gem). Oh well, guess the selfie crowd would stick with that.

“Actively assertive”, “aggressive” or “using physical persuasion” used to be called “hitting”, “fighting” or “assault and battery.” New phrasing is much less judgmental and negative. Suitable. Less Rock ’em, Sock ’em these days, in language anyway.

Good to stay current.

Staring man in suit. 1918. Photoplay Mag. Bert Lytell/

Open concept? I promise it will be wide open after shoving a few letters around.(USPD/

As electrifying as that is, one repurposing of a word makes me sizzle: “up”.

It’s still directional, yes, but traditionally it was “raise the speed limit”,”raise the security levels”, “raise productivity”, “raise awareness”, or “raise the rent”, not “up” them.

The level’s revised moniker makes me want to throw up and I don’t mean hands or basketballs, Chuck.

Perhaps remodeling phrases with “up” is a considerate attempt so 3 year olds and speakers of languages other than English can understand and appreciate the news.

Everyone knows what “up” means while “raise”? That word is so vague with multiple meanings – like with crops or children. See? Confusing when used with children, right?

Even “raise’s” sound can be confusing. Did he say “raise”, “rays”, or “raze”? (Who reads these days/daze?) Sensible to find an alternative. Everyone clearly understands “up”.

Blame it on Give texting the credit. Simply upped up.

ALL rights reserved for this image of cloudy sky. NO permissions gratned. Copyrighted

Heads up! Sigh or scythe. Both can cut.©

Leaping language,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

 A couple of blogs with language at play:

If you haven’t seen the upside down hot air balloon that flew over Las Vegas recently, fly here. Ups the stakes quite a bit.

ALL rights reserved for this sunset double image. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Whazup? No clue as to how this picture happened. Double image. iPhone always ups the mystery.©




  1. easyweimaraner / Sep 30 2015 1:05 pm

    the wildest creation with “up” for me it “what’s app”… I’ve get a flood of pictures everyday, but by now I have no clue what’s up with that what’s app :o(

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres / Sep 30 2015 1:11 pm

    You uppity linguist, you. I saw all this coming the first time I heard “transparency” used for truthfulness. Now we have trigger warnings. What? there’s a horse loose in the neighborhood.

    Don’t get me started. (Oh — I guess you already did!)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Kate Crimmins / Sep 30 2015 1:48 pm

    Within the next century (maybe decade?), people of the time will find our style of talking quaint. The words we use will be like words from the 1800s that we have no idea what they mean.


  4. memoirsofahusk / Sep 30 2015 2:10 pm

    In accordance with adolescent word flipping practice we used to – sorry about this – use ‘up chuck’ for vomiting. Pathway (ref: ‘pathways to impact’ in academe) = throwing up, chucking up – up chucking. 😉


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 30 2015 2:48 pm

      Yep. The phrase probably upped and flipped into something even more gross now? Thanks for laying a word’s foundation comment. 🙂


  5. Paul / Sep 30 2015 2:48 pm

    Your post really ups the ante.


  6. susielindau / Sep 30 2015 3:03 pm

    I remember hearing “up” used that way a while back. I cringed at it being used as a verb…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 30 2015 7:09 pm

      With luck the up setting is being contained regionally. (Can’t help but cringing) Thanks for keeping up.


  7. sustainabilitea / Sep 30 2015 3:08 pm

    What sort of honesty can a person have other than “self” honesty? Although I wish I could be honest for many other people, I can’t.

    As for “up”, another word that gets the same type of usage is “at.” “Where are you?” is sufficient. “Where are you at?” is superfluous. Being somewhat of a grammar nerd and language purist, I find life these days somewhat annoying, to say the least. Just can’t understand where language is at. 🙂



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 30 2015 7:23 pm

      Certainly up heaving. In the past few years we’ve become used to DC and politicians warping words to build something, but now the local and even national reporters/news anchors are spilling out clumsy phrasing. Up side may be that editors and writers could be high demand professions shortly? Thanks for the up start remark.


  8. Ally Bean / Sep 30 2015 4:19 pm

    Considering how language morphs, I think that you need to give up on this idea. 😉


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 30 2015 7:30 pm

      Language is getting a good dousing again. We’ll see what the up coming result will be.
      I started to close with Canterbury Tales’s prologue – we were forced to memorize it – in the Middle English version…it lingers on..
      “Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
      The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
      And bathed every veyne in swich licour….”
      Here, a glass of wine while waiting to see if there’s an upsurge in new vocabulary?
      Thanks for uploading a comment


      • Ally Bean / Oct 1 2015 12:11 pm

        philmouse, I, too, was forced to memorize the prologue– and can rattle it off when need be. It’s a life skill that a thoughtful college prof encouraged me to learn. Who’d have thought that I’d find another person with the same ability?!!


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 1 2015 2:55 pm

          Memorization is a skill. Each year this metro school district forced each kid to pick a poem, memorize it and say it in front of the class from grades 2 to 12. Guess that’s old fashion and a waste of time now. But it has merit.
          Canterbury here was a HS senior requirement. Each kid had to stand up and say the prologue for a grade. We were very lucky to have extraordinary teachers who constantly railed “You must learn and do this and this because college will be so much harder and you need to get ready.” In reality first year of college was so much easier and repetitive due to their efforts -they did us all a favor: a little slack never hurt any college freshman. The HS was also lucky in that our HS principal was brother to 2 movie stars, Steve Forest and Dana Andrews, who came back every spring and visited each English class to talk and actually read stuff out loud to classes. Motivating to develop good language skills and darn impressive. A whole different world, but everyone should read Canterbury and the classics – so easy to talk sensibly about character, conflict, society’s role, universal concepts without inflaming sensitive real people and real situations if from a distance.
          One nice thing is I’ve noticed a few bloggers exploring classic titles they read about in blogs. By choice – now that’s really encouraging.
          Thanks for reciting along


          • Ally Bean / Oct 1 2015 3:19 pm

            philmouse, you were lucky. I came from a high school where a small percentage of the kids went on to college. I spent most of my freshman year + half of my sophomore year playing catch up to the kids who were more prepared. That being said, I made it through college and learned that I could do that which I set my mind to. Like memorizing the prologue [for extra credit].

            Liked by 1 person

          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 1 2015 7:20 pm

            Big or small school, good to work the system. Extra credit should never be passed up anywhere!

            Liked by 1 person

  9. EllaDee / Sep 30 2015 9:32 pm

    There’s an economy of scale to economy with words…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 30 2015 11:39 pm

      Up drafts do cause pause. Upstaging may be responsible for uprooting traditions at times. Thanks for running up and over!


  10. Robin King / Oct 1 2015 1:10 pm

    Terrific post.

    Oh, those homonyms! Too needy. They require precision in speech and listening…not easy to find today. “Up” is simpler, shorter. It’s perfect for the thumbers. And it can sound like a burp! What’s not to love?
    My personal non-fav is “impact.” It’s already replaced 27%* of available verbs. Sad, sad, sad.

    *I made that up.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 1 2015 2:59 pm

      Impact: everything from car crashes to rain fall. Up set from that madness! Paw waves to the upscale Princesses!


  11. marthaschaefer / Oct 2 2015 12:37 am

    Read this twice, going back for a third time. So well versed and carefully thought out. or was it thought up?


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: