another reversal?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue May 17 13:40:26 UTC 2011

A big problem at our house.  Two Phd's can never get it straight.

On Tue, May 17, 2011 at 9:14 AM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: another reversal?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> And to make the house cooler in the summer, do we turn the air conditioning
> up or down?
> --Charlie
> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of
> victor steinbok [aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM]
> Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 8:43 PM
> For years I've had a hard time telling whether "with the top down" in a
> convertible meant that the roof was over your head or neatly folded in the
> back. Most of the time, I had assumed that "with the top down" meant that
> it
> was folded. Then, today, I see in blog comments:
> In the 90's I drove a LeBaron convertible _with_the_top_down_ on any day it
> > wasn't raining - viz was GREAT because I could see right over the top of
> the
> > windshield (_with_the_top_down_ I had to duck to see stoplights).
> Since the issue is visibility and not tall people sticking out of the car
> (although the driver is 6-4), in the second instance, "with the top down"
> means that the top is up, so it blocks overhead traffic lights for a tall
> driver.  But since the meaning is opposite in the beginning of the
> sentence,
> this might just be wrong word choice. On the other hand, I've encountered
> instances of "with the top down" where it was meant as "with the top up.
> The
> reverse, however, is not going to be found.
> VS-)
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