I'm not sure that this is a conventional language matter or if it is more of an electro-cultural question, but here goes.
Here in good old North America our common wall switches are designed so that if you want the light on you flip the switch up, and if you want it off you switch it down. To me that makes intuitive sense. (I don't want to hear about duplex switches or installing them upside down.). Now, down under, specifically New Zealand, it is the opposite: up is off and down is on. I think that's backwards.
To my mind, "up" and "on" are actions that are elementally positive, whereas "down" and "off" are elementally negative. Therefore, I can say to my NZ friends "you're wrong!" (I lived in NZ and am going back so I will have ample opportunity to tell them.). There are other things that are backward too like which side you drive on, which side the zipper zips (they call it a zip), which faucets are hot and cold (except when they aren't), n'at. I hadn't thought the Coriolis Efffect was so pervasive.
Let's just leave it at light switches for now. Is there something in the essence of up and on that orient them to the positive, and down and off to be negative? I await your guidance.
The farmhouse I grew up in was originally wired for a Delco plant, and there was a single hanging bulb with a pull chain in the center of each ceiling. After the REA turned on our power (July 4, 1937), we rewired for switches and wall jacks – but the switches had two push buttons. You'd press in the plain bakelite one a half inch, and the lights went out, and the button tipped with mother-of-pearl popped out. (No, they weren't springy. The were about 3/8" diameter.) Depress the pearly button, and the lights came on. But I can't recall whether he pearl was on top or bottom.
I'm not sure if NEC demands "up" be on, but many switches used to print "on" and "off" on them. "up". upside down, says "dn" but "off" upside down made no sense at all.
The plumbing code says hot water goes on the left, and THAT was a safety issue. Mt mother told us every Saturday that the rest of the world was plumbed backwards, and if we turned off the hot water first while showering, and screwed up, we'd scald ourselves. These days, of course, separate hot and cold controls are illegal to install….
The conventions for gadgets are a kind of idiom. As with language, there's no rational basis for what should signify positive or negative:
It's down time.
I'll be off.
My plane takes off.
She's clammed up.
What's up bro?
What's goin' down?
Come on down, we'll have a party.
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