Hey there,

So I just wrote this sentence:

Steingraber points out that “[r]are, heritable genes” may have predisposed her to cancer, and if so, they are part of the human genome passed down through generations (p. 265).

Okay, so my question is why do we say "passed down" through generations. It seems like saying it was "passed up" or even "passed along" would make more sense, but to "pass up" also means to "take a pass" or not be interested in, so that's confusing too.

Thoughts or quirky responses?

I suspect it is because a family tree usually starts with the oldest at the top! :D
Thanks Graham!

That makes sense, but It STILL bugs me. If the convention in genealogy is to start with you and then trace "up" to older generations, why ?

I mean, the roots go at the bottom, the new growth at the top. I am a visual thinker :)
Ah but the roots grow too and spread downward! :D
Okay, here's another odd word:

Oversight is something accidentally neglected/missed. "It was an oversight that Linda was not sent a wedding invitation."

Oversight is supervision/authority. "As the chair of the department, Dr. Brown has oversight on fiscal policy issues"

So what does it suggest that the same word works for authority and error? :-)
So are you implying that people with authority do not make errors? Not getting into politics here! :lol:
Actually, I was intending to imply the exact opposite :D
It happens in other languages too as I visited a town on the north coast of France a few years ago, called Etaples which was described in a local leaflet in English as "the city of sinners". It sounded an interesting place to visit! I didn't know the French word for sinners but when I looked it up it made sense as its almost identical to the French for fishermen!
pécheurs (sinners) pêcheurs (fishermen) It was a fishing port! :lol:
Graham1 wrote: I suspect it is because a family tree usually starts with the oldest at the top! :D

I think with the “tree” symbol, it starts on the bottom near the roots and flourishes upward.