When your stomach starts to growl and you think that someone has forgotten to feed you, so you stare at an empty dish until a good man named Charlie Brown comes along with a bowl full of deliciousness and then you start to sing, “It’s suppertime. Yeah, it’s suppertime. Oh, it’s sup-sup suppertime very best time of day.” A contraction is formed by skipping some letters and inserting an apostrophe and this results in the word being shorter and faster to say, with only one syllable (sound) instead of two. This contraction is very different from the type that women get when they experience a series of rhythmic tightening actions of the uterine muscles (as during menstruation or labor), as it is a shortening of a word, syllable, or word group by omission of a sound or letter. People love shortcuts and we often leave out words and parts of words to speed up our speech. Shakespeare often left out letters, syllables, and whole words shorting ‘it is’ to tis and often to oft and this practice is known as omissions and it reflects the way we normally speak.
Sup is an abbreviation of ‘What is up’ and it can be spelled as ‘sup, s’up, t’sup, w’sup, wassup, wazzup or whassup. Whassup became a pop culture catchphrase after the first Anheuser-Busch Budweiser beer commercial aired during Monday Night Football, on December 20, 1999. The commercials were based on a short film, entitled True, written and directed by Charles Stone III, that featured Stone and several of his childhood friends who all greeted each other with “whassup?” and then they said that they were watching the game, and having a Bud. The catchy greeting took off and everyone knows that sup is a way to ask someone what is up.
When I worked as a substitute teacher, many of my students would greet me by asking me what’s up and I would often respond by telling them that it is all a matter of prospective as when something is below other things, then almost everything will be up from that prospective and when something is above other things, then almost everything will be down. This would often lead to me explaining Galileo’s Theory of Relativity, which I feel is a cornerstone of our understanding of the universe and that every student should know. I would explain to them how it is impossible to determine by mechanical means whether or not they are moving unless they have a frame of reference and then I would describe to them that they are moving in five different directions all the time. I explained that Galileo formulated the principle of relativity in order to support Copernicus’ theory that the Earth moved around the Sun, because so many people at that time thought that the Sun revolved around the Earth. If I thought my students were still interested in learning I might go on to explain Einstein’s Special Relativity and his General Relativity and if I had a real good group of students I would even try to explain String Theory to them.
Written for 7/7/18 Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is “sup”.