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To London

Posted by Smokey Stover on April 24, 2010 at 16:45

In Reply to: To London posted by Brian from Shawnee on April 22, 2010 at 03:15:

: : : : : : Do you go up to London or down to London?

: : : : :
: : : : : One goes up to London. Wherever one starts from.

: : : : : DFG

: : : : Yes, but that curious convention means that Londoners starting at Oxbridge go up to university and then up again when they come home. High flyers I expect.

: : :
: : : You have hit upon a slight glitch in the system...

: : : With one minor proviso. The only way to Cambridge is down.

: : : DFG

: : And now for something completely irrelevant:

: : To London, to London,
: : To buy a fat pig.
: : Back again, back again,
: : Jig a jig jig.

: : That's neither up nor down. And perhaps I've got it completely wrong.

: ...but there is a nursery rhyme where London is up...
: "Pussycat pussycat, where have you been?
: I've been up to London to visit the Queen.
: Pussycat pussycat, what did you dare?
: I frightened a little mouse under her chair"

: ...though some versions just say "I've been to London", none of them say "...down to London".

: I suppose there are lots of places in the world that are only up, down, over, etc. In New Jersey we only go "down the shore", for example.

Since those benighted Eastpondians undoubtedly hang on every word that we Americans say about our variety of English, perhaps we ought to explain what is peculiar about "down the shore." The first is that there is a "to" missing. The ellipsis is important, since "down the shore" doesn't mean "following the shoreline" or "along the shore." It can signify a single place. And since most of New Jersey is above the shoreline, any part of the shore is reached by going down, at least most of the time.

There was a discussion here earlier about going uptown or downtown to reach the central business district. It was mentioned that in Philly, you go to "center city."