Now people say: “The Internet is DOWN” to explain the lack of Internet service.
Now people also say: “The system is UP,” to inform people that the system is operating.
Are down and up used today because…
Back then, people said: “The horse is DOWN,” to explain their lack of transportation.
Back then, people said: “The camel is UP,” to let people know that there items are on the way.
Because intrinsically, down does have to mean anything negative, nor must up refer to the positive.
Want to go to the party with me? “Sure, I’m DOWN.” — Is a good thing.
Want to come over? “Can’t, I have the chicken pox and these pesky sores keep popping UP.”
…so it all depends on context.
Does this mean that our use of DOWN and UP is super old-school?
I’ll respond once my computer comes back up.
Also what does it mean when the “eruv is up”?
If it’s referring to the string commonly referred to as “The Eruv”, I don’t want it to be “up”, I want it to be at the appropriate height to allow for a valid eruv chatzeiros – not too high, not too low.
Your alarm is ringing. Is it “on” or is it “going off”? Is rain a good thing? To a farmer yes as the crops need water, therefore “raining down” is a good thing! However, to a city dweller when the “rain is coming down hard” it is an inconvenience. When a persons temperature goes up (fever) it’s a bad thing; when it goes down it’s good. Conversely, if a person has hypothermia, then temperature goes up it’s a good thing; when it goes down it’s bad.
Is the house that is going “up” next to me that is blocking my view a good thing? Is the baby being “up” all night a good thing? The prices are going up is a “bad” thing for the buyers but good for the sellers; prices going “down” is a good thing for the buyers and bad for the sellers.
So yes, it all depends on the context.
Turn up the air conditioner? Or turn down the air conditioner?
How abut off and on?
When we were younger, the weather warning siren in our neighborhood used to run a test at 1:00 PM on the first Shabbos of every month. It was very loud and annoying, and scary to some of the younger kids. My 3 year old brother was petrified of it.
After some successful lobbying by many community members, they cancelled the tests.
My mother heard of that accomplishment and came home to report, “The siren is not going to go off this week!”
My little brother got hysterical. “You mean it’s going to stay on the whole Shabbos?!!”