no string.downer() ?

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Thu Aug 28 05:20:10 CEST 2008

Grant Edwards wrote:

> Not only does one need to be familiar with English, but one
> also has to be familiar with somewhat obscure terms dervied
> from ancient typsetting practices. In other contexts, downer is
> definitely the obvious converse of upper.

Nonsense. Down is the opposite of up, but lower is the opposite of upper 
as an adjective: upper level, lower level; upper class, lower class, 
upper case, lower case, upper rank, lower rank, upper lip, lower lip; 
upper arm, lower arm; upper leg, lower leg; upper house, lower house (of 
a legislature); upper layer, lower layer; Upper Paleolithic, Lower 
Paleolithic (and so on for other geologic periods; upper Manhattan, 
lower Manhattan (and so on for other persiods); upper Mississippi, lower 
Mississippi (and so on for other rivers).

Downer, a noun, opposes upper only when upper is used as a noun for 
depressing versus stimulating things, most often with reference to drugs 
   It is also used to refer to animals that are so sick that they cannot 
stand up or otherwise need to be 'put down' (permanently).  But healthy 
animals are not called uppers that I know of.


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