Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lunch conversation II: or, second languages are fun!

NC: So, what’s the difference between a button-up shirt and a button-down shirt?
Me: Well, I think a button-up shirt is any shirt that buttons up the front, and a button-down shirt has a collar that buttons down to the shirt.
NC: So it’s not like a glass is half full/glass half empty thing?
Us: No…
NC: And it doesn’t have to do with whether you start buttoning your shirt from the top or the bottom?
Us: No…
NC: Because that way you could have both in one shirt – you could button it up, or button it down! Or start in the middle and go up and then down…

2 comments:

Lise said...

Also there's an emotional component to "button up" and "button down" that distinguishes them. Button up connotes protection like a mother saying "button up before you go out." If you say "he's the buttoned up type" you're saying he's uptight or stiff. Buttoned down sometimes can be used like this, but I think it just gets confused with the word batten, as in "battening down the hatches," To my puerile mind button down could suggest unbuttoning, which surely is the opposite of uptight...

raynaae said...

hello, i'm a new reader as of today and this conversation is funny!! and it's one that i have had at least twice before.

ps I am fascinated about real patternmakers working in new york city. As a designer who has worked for larger companies and sent comments overseas, I really miss being able to sit down and really learn the way things work.