Latest Issue

Making it up


I had gone for over two years without regularly attending an office, but it took a mere six weeks for office culture to ensnare my grammar all over again. During a phone call earlier this week, I was horrified to discover the following words coming out of my mouth: “so we just need to confirm up a few things.” Confirm up? UP?? A cold sweat ensued. Shaken, I mumbled some hasty apologies and said I’d call back later.

What was the “up” doing in this sentence? Sitting there at the back end of a verb, it’s as embarrassing and unnecessary…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect