The more the English languages degrades and I am referring to use in the media, social media and TV, the more determined I am to respect it and take it seriously or to keep the English language alive.
Today’s idea was sparked by my giving the Thumps Up to the waitress in Wetherspoons where I had my increasing expensive Freedom Breakfast with coffee. The current price is £6.69. Who knows what it will be next week. OK I get it. They are trying to turn a profit but there is too much instability for my liking.
The origin of the phrase ’Thumbs Up’
We all know that this gesture originates from the blood tutorial contests of Ancient Rome in which the fate of a losing fighter was decided by gestures from the crowd and indeed the emperor.
It’s not really thumbs in the plural so it is a misnaming, as the common use is only one thumb.
The current habit may have originated with the China-based flying tigers who were among the first American flyers involved in World War 2. The appreciative Chinese would say ‘ting hao de’ meaning “very good” and gesture with a thumbs up which in Chinese means ” you’re number one”
I do not hear this phrase so much now but to give a project the thumbs up means that you give it your unreserved approval. whereas saying that something has gone through ‘on the nod’ generally means a lesser degree of scrutiny as discussion is not deemed necessary.
Backup vs Back up
There is a tendency of words to merge into one and an example here is the word back up.
There is a difference between the two uses – backup (adjective or noun) or back up (verb phrase) is a noun
BACKUP Adjective or noun
As a noun, backup refers to an extra or secondary version of something. In computing for instance a backup is a copy of information stored separately
the convoy of soldiers was under attack so they called for backup
As an adjective you would call a ‘backup generator’ an extra generator that will still supply power if the primary generator fails
A backup plan which we call Plan B
BACK UP – verb phrase
I can back you up in your proposal
his friends were always there to back him up
back up can also mean to move backwards or retreat
I can put my back into something. This normally applies to a physical task but can be applied to a mental task.
Traffic can back up on the M25 motorway
I am going to back up along my driveway
I am backing up my data just in case of loss ..but that is a backup.
Putting someone’s back up in other words to aggravate or annoy them
The term derives from the habit of cats of arching their backs when Threatened or annoyed. It is a British colloquial phrase and came into being in the 18th century. https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/295700.html
It is normally done deliberately but can in rare cases be done unintentionally.
I am reminded how we can infect each other. Fungii spreads. Ideas spread We need to keep our inner environment pristine so nothing can infect us.
Is this driver trying to say something