This is dedicated to Fotini
English abounds in phrasal verbs and prepositional phrases, like those we have already seen with “set”.
This time, I put my mind to it and thought I would put pen to paper, to put down a few thoughts about another useful little word.
If people are always putting you down, you should put it down to them being ignorant, or perhaps put it down to experience when you receive a put down. Of course, you may also put a baby down in their cot, or put them down to sleep, while putting the blind down, perhaps putting the light down at the same time, if you don’t want to put the light out. That is, if you put the light on at all!
You may put the bins out when they are full, which is not the same as putting an idea out, or putting out for an idea. You may feel put out if you fail to get a response, but perhaps people felt it would have been too much trouble and didn’t want to put you out. If your neighbour has to have their dog put down, they may feel put out if you put a bone out for it.
You should keep an eye on the output of your noisy machine, as your landlord may threaten to put you out – in which case you might need someone to put you up. If so, make sure they are not just putting up with you! Offer to put up a shelf, so they don’t feel put upon, don’t just put your feet up. And be sure to put your things away, don’t put them in the way!
If you rob a bank, they may put you away for ten years, so don’t be tempted to put that balaclava on, put it on the shelf or put it in the drawer instead. And then don’t put your foot in it by mentioning it again.
It’s a good idea to put some money by for a rainy day, although some people prefer to put it away. But if it’s always sunny, you can put it towards a holiday instead! Go on a cruise, and watch as the ship puts in at port after port. If I get it wrong, you can put me straight, or even put me to rights.
Too much input?