On the Up-and-Up

In one of my Tips of the Day last year  titled “Up, Up  and Away” (https://oilpatchwriting.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/up-up-and-away/),
I covered some words that began with “up” that were hyphenated and some that were not. I’d like to discuss a few more “up” words.

The first one is “upward,” an adverb meaning in a direction opposite of down. This is preferred to “upwards,” according to the AP Stylebook.
One exception is the expression “upwards of,” meaning “more than.”

The department plans to spend upwards of $50 million on new automation equipment.

Of course, feel free to use “more than” rather than “upwards of” or “in excess of” to express this concept. Remember the KISS principle: Keep it simple, sweetie!

Here’s another one.

Upstate is not hyphenated, and it’s not capitalized unless it’s the first word in the sentence.
I grew up in a small town in upstate New York.

Many times models have to be  upscaled so that simulations won’t take so long to finish.
But don’t use the word “upscale” as a verb; use “scale up” instead, according to the SPE Style Guide.

Scaleup (not hyphenated) is used as a noun or adjective.

Bad Example:
We will need to upscale the geological model to run it faster on Petris.

Corrected Example:
We will need to scale up the geological model to run it faster on Petris. I will need some help with the scaleup.

And finally, what exactly does the idiomatic expression “on the up-and-up” mean?
It means that the situation or person in question is legitimate, honest, and respectable.
And yes, it is hyphenated, according to Webster’s dictionary.

In a crackdown on graft and corruption in West Africa, the company is refusing to do business with any local politician that is not on the up-and-up.


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