Misdirection   Leave a comment

Using abstract prepositions to describe an impending physical phenomenon raises some curiosities. It seems to not really matter what direction you’re going to beat someone or whether resistance to gravity is necessary for participation in a proposed activity. It’s much easier to give examples.

The threat, “I’m going to beat you up.”
Is more or less equivalent to, “I’m going to beat you down.”

When asked, “Do you want to go to McDonald’s?”
Confirming, “I’m up for that.”
Is not so different from responding to the question, “Do you want to go to Burger King?”
By replying, “I’m down for that.”

There is no ambiguity in differentiating, “Can you please turn the sound down” and “Can you please turn the sound up.” We all know the difference between up and down. But when it comes to beatings and proposals, an upward or downward directionality loses its exclusive claim to a certain outcome. But to “throw down” is a vastly different and non-analogous concept from “throw up”, while “slow down” doesn’t have a significantly different meaning than “slow up.” Is the differentiating factor ever going to “show up”? It’s time to “showdown”.

Fuck Down. Verb.
Can be considered as the opposite of “fuck up”; a victory or well-executed success.
It’s like a touchdown, but you upgrade “touch” to “fuck”.
“I’m going to fuck down this midterm I’ve been studying for all night.”

What determines whether “up” and “down” are interchangeable is whether the directional preposition (up/down) or the surrounding phrase defines the term. Whether you get beat up or beat down, a beating’s a beating. Same for reducing speed (slow up/down)  and expressing interest in a suggestion (I’m up/down). On the other hand, you can’t just “turn the sound” without some direction to turn it, so that direction comes to define the term. To throw up and throw down don’t often literally include any throwing at all, so the direction you’re throwing determines whether you vomit or engage in fisticuffs.
When the direction is not the important factor in defining the term, as in beat up/beat down, there is no rational reason to really be using directions in the first place, we’re operating on a one dimensional plane with no real up or down. If the up/down refers to an actual direction, of digested food or level of volume, then of course the direction matters. When operating on one dimension, determining up or down is merely a matter of style.


Posted January 24, 2010 by Wada in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: