Where "down" is in New England.

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 9 15:04:17 UTC 2010

On Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 10:19 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

> In his as usual entertaining "On Language" column in the NYTimes last
> Sunday ("Beach Blanket Lingo"), Ben Zimmer wrote:
> "The down of "down the shore" and "down the ocean" doesn't
>> necessarily imply a southward journey. As in many dialects along the
>> Eastern Seaboard, down can be used as a preposition indicating
>> movement from the inland toward the shoreline."
Which is consistent with the physical lay of the land and the flow of rivers
since long before the cartographic convention of "up" = "north". OED is
pretty clear about this for "up", though not nearly so old for "down"; are
they still catching up?

up, adv.1
 b. To a higher point on or within a river, channel, etc., or a point
further from the sea. (cites from 847)

up, prep.2
2. Along (a river, etc.) in a direction from the mouth towards the source.
(cites from 1513)

m a m

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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