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    #1

    Some questions about 'down'

    Hi,

    Thank you always for your instructions and help.

    I have some questions again to ask of you. When I thought of a phrase such as 'go back (date back) to the 1900's', I wondered if I could put it another way as 'go down to the 1900's'. If I could here, could I say 'go up to the 2010's'? What I wanted to know is, when we use 'down' or 'up' to indicate date or time, is it because 1900 < now < 2010 that down < up like count down '<' count up?

    And, just out of curiosity, Why does downdown suggest central town (city) but not uptown? Does 'down' have a sense of where the speaker stands like 'down here' and 'up there'?

    Thank you.

  1. curmudgeon's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Some questions about 'down'

    Time goes back or forward so you go back in time or forward in time.

    Downtown and uptown are americanisms, downtown is the business area of a town and uptown is the residential area (I think!)


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    #3

    Re: Some questions about 'down'

    I am sorry to say but I really cannot be satisfied with your answer, sir. What I wanted to know was not the meanings of these words but the sense of 'down' in my separated questions and the reasons of its usage. (Maybe I am too hair-spliting).

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Some questions about 'down'

    Quote Originally Posted by Haihao View Post
    Hi,

    Thank you always for your instructions and help.

    I have some questions again to ask of you. When I thought of a phrase such as 'go back (date back) to the 1900's', I wondered if I could put it another way as 'go down to the 1900's'. If I could here, could I say 'go up to the 2010's'? What I wanted to know is, when we use 'down' or 'up' to indicate date or time, is it because 1900 < now < 2010 that down < up like count down '<' count up?

    And, just out of curiosity, Why does downdown suggest central town (city) but not uptown? Does 'down' have a sense of where the speaker stands like 'down here' and 'up there'?

    Thank you.
    The use of "downtown" and "uptown" varies from city to city.

    In New York City, "downtown" means south or toward Brooklyn; uptown means north or toward Queens or the Bronx.

    In Chicago, "downtown" means the central business area or toward the central business area, no matter what direction one is traveling.

    Uptown can also be used to denote a higher social or economic class and "downtown" can mean the opposite.


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    #5

    Re: Some questions about 'down'

    Thank you, Mr. MikeNewYork, for your detailed explanation, from which I got to know a lot fresh information I hadn't had any chance to know of at all.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Some questions about 'down'

    Quote Originally Posted by Haihao View Post
    Thank you, Mr. MikeNewYork, for your detailed explanation, from which I got to know a lot fresh information I hadn't had any chance to know of at all.
    You're welcome.


    The answer to your other question lies in tradition. Traditionally, "time" has been thought of as linear and it is usally plotted out in a horizontal plane from left (past) to right (future). Scientists have questioned the linearity of time, we we still think of it that way. By contrast, amounts have normally been depicted on a vertical plane from bottom (less) to top (more).

  4. curmudgeon's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Some questions about 'down'

    Time is very versatile. It can stretch, it can be cut, compressed, lost, found ,wasted and saved.

    You can have quality time and the time of your life. It can be a cycle, a record or a safe.

    It can fly, crawl and stand still.

    You can have down time and up time, but time itself does neither

    And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

  5. curmudgeon's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Some questions about 'down'

    Quote Originally Posted by Haihao View Post
    (Maybe I am too hair-spliting).
    Better to say 'maybe I am splitting hairs' But you are quite right I didn't reaqly answer your question as I am a native english (british) speaker, so know little about americanisms, however there are some very erudite Ae members and I see one of them has already explained it to you.


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    #9

    Re: Some questions about 'down'

    Quote Originally Posted by curmudgeon View Post
    Better to say 'maybe I am splitting hairs' But you are quite right I didn't reaqly answer your question as I am a native english (british) speaker, so know little about americanisms, however there are some very erudite Ae members and I see one of them has already explained it to you.

    Oh, yes, sir, I think you are quite right, too, on the point that I benefit a lot from other warmhearted teachers with their heartfelt instructions but not just tip of the iceberg. BTW, since I am a non-native speaker I really have no idea about your native wording I underlined above in the quote but don't even bother yourself to give me any explanation because it's neither a big deal nor necessary.

    Goodbye.
    Last edited by Haihao; 24-Nov-2006 at 12:48.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Some questions about 'down'

    Quote Originally Posted by Haihao View Post
    Oh, yes, sir, I think you are quite right, too, on the point that I benefit a lot from other warmhearted teachers with their heartfelt instructions but not just tip of the iceberg. BTW, since I am a non-native speaker I really have no idea about your native wording I underlined above in the quote but don't bother yourself to give me explanation because I don't think it's a big deal.

    Goodbye.
    As long as we are here, "tip of the iceberg" refers to something being only a small part of what is actually there. With icebergs, most of the mass is below the water where it cannot be seen.

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