General Question

rss's avatar

Is "point up" different than "point out?"?

Asked by rss (962points) April 2nd, 2008

In some class reading today my friend noticed “point up” being used to highlight a statement instead of “point out.” We had never heard this before… is there a difference? Can they be used interchangeably? Ex. “This points up the distinction between apples and oranges.”

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8 Answers

Allie's avatar

ive never heard “point up” used that way either. id think up.. like, sky up.
and that sentence just sounds weird to me.

Perchik's avatar

I’d assume it’s someone mixing up “bring up” and “point out”...

soundedfury's avatar

It is a regional colloquialism of roughly the same meaning as “point out,” but I’ve never seen it pass through an editor’s desk unscathed. What the hell were you reading?

rss's avatar

It appeared in two different law cases. Obscure, sure, but certainly not unedited. I did a google search and it shows up in the dictionaries, but no details about etymology or usage.

jtvoar16's avatar

as I was taught, “point up” is to bring something to notice and compair it. Ex. In the example above, you would be saying, look, I have apples and oranges, they are diffrant! Where as “point out” means to exclude something for comparison. So in that sentence it would mean, “Look, apples are diffrant because they are red.” that is how I was taught it.

gailcalled's avatar

*different, please. :-)

Arglebargle_IV's avatar

I may be wrong but it sounds like British dialect to me.
To me, “point out” and “point up” have the same meaning. I will grant that jtvoar16 has an interesting point (even if I don’t totally get it), but in common usage I have to say the meaning is the same.

Jeruba's avatar

I would use the two expressions differently. “Point out” is common and familiar and means “single out and call attention to.” Less common and a bit more specialized in its use, “point up” is more like “demonstrate or bring into focus.” The difference may seem subtle, but the two expressions can’t be used interchangeably.

You might think the quality of work in these two garments is equal, but I must point out that my seams are nicely finished off, whereas hers are raw and rough. That just points up the difference between giving work to an amateur and taking it to a pro.


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