Take up

To take up means to begin a new habit.

Today's story: Vaping illnesses
Explore more: Lesson #189
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Take up

I have a phrasal verb for you today, and that is “take up.” It means, to begin doing something habitually or regularly. A lot of people took up vaping, e-cigarettes, as a way to get a nicotine high without smoking a cigarette. They took it up because they started it as a habit.

You can take up good things, bad things: it doesn’t matter. My friend took up golf in his early 40s; that means he started playing golf habitually in his early 40s. You can take up tennis. You can take up meditation, yoga. You can take up smoking. You can take up karate. You can take up chess. You can take up podcasting, if you’re willing to work hard at it.

Juul was marketed as a way to help smokers wean their way off their habit. Adults took up vaping because it let them get the nicotine their bodies wanted, without the harmful chemicals and smoke you get from a cigarette. But guess what? Existing smokers were not the only ones to take up vaping. Teenagers took up vaping, even if they had never smoked before. It’s a lot easier these days to take up vaping than it is to take up smoking. These days, you can’t smoke indoors; you can’t smoke in public places; often, you can’t smoke near the entrances to buildings. Vaping is a different story. In many cases, you’re not allowed to use e-cigarettes in public places, but it’s a lot easier to get away with it. It doesn’t smell, it doesn’t stay lit, things like that. So you can take it up a lot more easily than you can take up smoking.

JR’s song of the week

JR’s song of the week is “Oh, Mexico” by Jeremy Zucker. As you know, JR is from Mexico. I went to visit him in Montreal a few weeks ago and he couldn’t get this song out of his head. The catchy line from the song is, “Oh Mexico, sounds so sweet, but I’m going there alone. I tried to be myself, but still I’ve got some room to grow. I’m going to Mexico.” “Oh, Mexico,” by Jeremy Zucker is the song of the week—and, if you listen to it, I’m warning you, it might just get stuck in your head.


That’s all for today. Stay away from black market vaping products. Honestly…no good can come from that, and they’re expensive! That’s easy for me to say: my stress relief is a legal product, caffeine. But still, be careful with that stuff.

Coming up on Monday, we’ll take a break from our usual routine and revisit five stories that we’ve covered in the past year, and see the very latest with those five stories. I think you’ll like it.

If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, then I know you’ll like Plain English Plus+. It’s our new membership program just for people who are serious about improving at English. Starting at episode 179, each episode comes with a video lesson showing you some type of grammar or English usage. You’ll leave those lessons knowing exactly how to use complicated little English tools. The lesson for today’s episode is about how to use “such that.” If you need to improve your writing and speak more fluently, then I know you’ll get a lot out of Plain English Plus. Just visit PlainEnglish.com/Plus and sign up today.

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Story: Vaping illnesses