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Up & down

Posted by James Briggs on March 07, 2004

In Reply to: Up & down posted by lapofthegoddess on March 07, 2004

: I'm reading a Kathy Reichs book in which there is a paragraph where the heroine describes her own house. It reads... "Though cramped, the place is perfect for me. Bedroom and bath up. Kitchen, dining room, parlor, guest room/study down. Twelve hundred square feet. What realtors call "cozy"."

: Does this 'up & down' thing mean up and down stairs?

: And while I'm at it. Americans often tend to refer to parts of the city as uptown and downtown. I used to think that 'uptown' meant the wealthier part of town and 'downtown' meant the poorer part of town. Only problem with that theory is that sometimes they tend to talk about what seems to be trendy parts of town being 'downtown', so it doesn't equate to my theory.

: So is this uptown/downtown thing in reference to altitude, geography, wealth, population or something else completely? And is this a U.S. thing?

: thanks

'Up and Down' does, indeed, refer to up and downstairs.
As far a 'Downtown' is concerned, this seem to be very much a N American term. I too wondered what it meant until, on a trip to Canada, I saw the French equivalent 'Centre Ville'. In the UK we call it the 'City Centre'. 'Downtown' is never used, except to quote some US or Canadian source, or if the reporter comes from there.
What about the rest of the English speaking world?