Student or Learner
“What is the “magic formula” to get children to clean their rooms, help with the laundry, cook, wash dishes, or do any number of the daily tasks that keep homes up and running.”
Does “keep homes up and running” mean that keep homes in good condition and in good order.
'up and running' is an expression you'll hear a lot with computer systems. When you buy a new system, you have to set it up at home, plugging in all the peripherals (TV monitor, mouse, broadband connection) and then going through the steps to get your system online and connected to the Internet. It means, 'in operation; functioning' :"My new computer is up and running."
The author of the sentence you quote is mixing this expression with that usually used with regard to the home We talk of 'running a home', and 'keep the home running'. This means making sure all the tasks are done, such as washing, ironing, shopping for food, cooking, washing the dishes, the cleaning, mowing the lawn.
With regard to the condition of the building, and the rooms of the house themselves, we talk of 'keeping the house in good repair', and 'home maintenance' like fixing leaking taps, blocked sinks, changing burnt-out lightbulbs.
I think the expression 'up and running' for computers is because we 'boot up' ; and while the computer may 'boot', other problems may interfere with its functioning, 'how it runs'.
Last edited by David L.; 11-Jul-2008 at 07:31.