Usage and Grammar

Q. In your January Q&A, in your response to the question about under commitment and over commitment, you wrote that “it would be best to either close up both or hyphenate both.” I’m trying to eliminate using the word up where it’s unnecessary. It seems to me the vast majority of both up and down uses following verbs are unnecessary. Do you think up is needed in your response?

A. You are right that there’s no need to “close up a deal” or “close up a gate,” but when we bring two words together without a hyphen, we do not call this “closing the words.” So up is appropriate here.