Up and down often substitute for compass directions, but you have to know when you've taken it too far

Raymond Chen

The official curriculum for seventh grade students in the state of Washington includes Washington history and geography. My friend the seventh grade teacher typically includes as part of this curriculum an assignment wherein each student is assigned one of the state’s counties on which to produce a brief report.

It is common to substitute up and down for north and south when speaking informally, but it is also important to know when you’ve taken the substitution too far. One student’s report on Pierce County began with the following sentence:

Pierce County is at the bottom of Puget Sound.


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