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Dear Abby:

Some time ago, you published an item on the word "up" --how frequently it is used, and how comical it sometimes sounds. Will you please publish it again?-----Mrs. F.M. Drummer, Knoxville, Tenn.

Dear Mrs. Drummer: Your letter was a real "upper." Many thanks. Here's the piece:


"We've got a two-letter word we use constantly that may have more meanings than any other. The word is UP.

"It is easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or toward the top of a list. But when we waken, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? And why are participants said to speak UP? Why are officers UP for election? And why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

"The little word is really not needed, but we use it anyway. We brighten UP a room, light UP a cigar, polish UP the silver, lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.

"At other times, it has special meanings. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, think UP excuses and get tied UP in traffic.

"To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special. It may be confusing, but a drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.

"We open UP a store in the morning, and close it UP in the evening. We seem to be all mixed UP about UP.

"In order to be UP on the proper use of UP, look UP the word in the dictionary. In one desk-size dictionary, UP takes UP half a column; and the listen definitions add UP to about 40.

"If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways in which UP is used. It may take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a thousand."

---Frank S. Endicott

Dear Abby: I just turned 13. I was at my grandparents' house with my two sisters, Molly and Maggie. My grandpa said that he would pay 3 cents for each dandilion weed we pulled. I pulled 350 weeds in one hour. That's $10.50. Right? Molly pulled 305 weeds. That's $9.15. I don't know how many weeds Maggie pulled.

Abby, I was taught to trust my elders, but when it was time to pay us, Grandpa offered each of us only $6. After Molly accepted the offer, he dropped it to $5. She accepted the $5-- Maggie and I didn't.

I wasn't going to take $5 because I thought Grandpa was unfair to change the deal after the work was done. What do you think?

-----Trust gone wrong in Minnesota

Dear Trust: Shame on Grandpa. Children are raised to believe that adults can do no wrong-- especially grandparents. You were right to show your disappointment when Grandpa didn't live up to his end of the bargain. He set a poor example for his grandchildren.

Dear Abby: Here's an appropriate toast to the bridegroom:

"To keep your marriage brimming

With love from the loving cup, When you are wrong, admit it,

And when you are right, shut up!"