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Write the Right Word: Up and Down

“Up” and “down” generally indicate direction, so avoid the temptation to attach them to action words such as “slow,” “call,” “make, “ warm,” “cool” and “clean” unless a direction is necessary.

Here are some examples:

* “I’ll make the bed” instead of “I’ll make up the bed”

* “Warm the stew in the microwave” instead of “Warm up the stew in the microwave”

* “Slow before you get to the next intersection” instead of “Slow down (or up) before you get to the next intersection”

* “Let the soup cool a little before serving it” instead of “Let the soup cool down a little before serving it”

* “Clean the table” instead of “Clean up the table”

Tip: When in doubt, read the sentence without “up” or “down” in it. If the sentence makes sense without “up” or “down,” leave it out.

Ellen Crawford, information specialist, (701) 231-5391

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