Up to More than the Limit
Posted by languageandgrammar on September 30, 2008
Many a late-night infomercial and women’s magazine hawk products that promise we can lose up to 50 pounds or more, save up to 100 dollars or more, and cut housework by up to 2 hours or more. I don’t buy it.
When you say up to, you’re putting a limit on it, saying that that’s as high as it will go. To say up to…… or more is bad grammar. You could say lose 50 pounds or more or save 100 dollars or more, but once you put up to on it, you’re saying that 50 pounds is as much as you can lose, and you can’t lose any more, and 100 dollars is as much as you can save, and you can’t save any more. That’s what up to means—it’s the farthest you can go, the most you can do, the highest you can climb. As I said before, it’s the limit—and you can’t have more than the limit.
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