Burn Up?

2 09 2008

In the interest of definition and proper usage, today we examine the difference between the English phrases “burn up” and “burn down”.

Being Roman, and a dog, I am concerned, of course, with language…its meaning and its origin.  Why use “burn down” as opposed to “burn up”?

The house burned downBurning Down a Condemned House 2005.  The trash burned up (only in third world countries…)Burning Trash.

The difference in usage?  It depends where the fire starts.  In the attic: the house burned down.  On the ground level…it burned up.  This according to a local Roman firefighterFirefighters.

Historically? To burn down was to burn until the fire becomes feeble and in want of fuel.  To burn up: to take strong hold of a combustible material.  Huh?  Who would do that?

Personally, I like the phrase in its more metaphorical sense: to irritate or annoy.

Ah…the definition of cats.




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