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Turned up missing

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 21, 2004

In Reply to: Turned up missing posted by ESC on November 20, 2004

: : Is "turned up missing" a phrase from somewhere. Who started saying this because it is kind of an odd saying.

: A side note: Don't the Brits say "gone missing"? ESC from the U.S.

The expression "to turn up" is very common in the U.S., as in He'll turn up somewhere, It will turn up sometime, He turned up with his arm in a sling, He turns up everywhere I go, even He turned up dead. He turned up missing is obviously a contradiction in terms, since it means he didn't turn up at all. But I've seen it more than once, and I, too, find it odd. But the meaning is plain, which I suppose is what counts. Incidentally, I could not find "turn up" in this sense in the OED, "the definitive record of the English language." SS

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