“Drafting Up” and Extraneous Prepositions

Today I noticed that someone said on Twitter that they were “drafting up a screenplay contract for legal revisions” (emphasis added).

That sent me to Google, where the search [“drafting up” contract] resulted in 4,090 hits . The search [“draft up” contract] resulted in 12,900 hits, but they included a greater proportion of irrelevant results, such as “You screwed this draft up.” But in any event, adding up to forms of the verb to draft is sufficiently commonplace to be worth noting.

This usage is an example of the urge to tack prepositions on to verbs. For some reason, up is particularly conducive to this:

  • “Wait up,” pleaded Larry.
  • “Listen up, everyone!,” yelled Lucy.
  • “We’ll spend the next two weeks training up for the match,” said Barry.

I suspect that most listeners would acknowledge that in these examples, the up is extraneous, although established in casual speech. Over time the up might well become more firmly entrenched, as it is in the phrase “Hurry up!”

If you know of any discussion of the urge to add prepositions, please let me know.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.