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USAGE: I'm down with up(side)

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 23, 2007, 23:58
After some research, my intuitive interpretation of "upside" as
"upward to the side of" seems to be borne out, in the main.  But there
are also attestations of more general meanings, particularly in
Hiphoppish, where it seems to be in the process of active semantic
growth, functioning almost as a generic preposition like E-o "je".

I think this is a reflection of the fact that it includes "up", a
preposition which long ago abandoned any restrictions tied to the
direction opposite the pull of gravity.  Dressed up.  Done up right.
Fix you right up.  Coming right up.  He got all up in my business so I
got all up in his face.

I find its appearance as the U in SNAFU particularly interesting.  In
the original, coarse version, the "up" doesn't really contribute to
the meaning; compare the Jargon file's BYF.  (Although the "up"
version does have an additional connotation when applied to people,
relating to inebriatedness, while the "up"less version relates more to
imminent failure and may be safely translated as "doomed".).

But in the politer expansion of SNAFU, the "up" is key, because, in a
manner almost exactly opposite what you might expect a prepositional
adverb to do, it generalizes the meaning of the participle.  Any sort
of problem may cause a situation to be "fouled up", whereas "fouled"
by itself refers quite specifically to something being caught or
tangled in something else, or, more rarely, to being covered in an
unclean substance.

Ok, just rambling now...

Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>