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While editing and improving a question on the Cognitive Sciences site, I came across the following sentence:

Infants can detect an upside human face right after they are born

This sounded awkward to me and I struggled to improve it. I believe the author's intention was to say:

Infants can detect a human face right after they are born, as long as the face is not rotated

or:

Infants can detect a human face (in proper orientation) right after they are born.

But I really feel like there must be a word for "in proper orientation" in a context such as this. What would be appropriate?

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This sure doesn’t sound very politically correct to me. :) –  tchrist Feb 2 '12 at 13:28
    
I mean geometric orientation obviously! :-) –  Josh Feb 2 '12 at 13:34
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You're probably looking for "right-side up" as in Infants can detect a right-side-up human face from birth. If you have to use orient you could say the face was properly oriented. –  Robusto Feb 2 '12 at 13:35
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Apparently, the author meant upright not upside. I do not think there's more to it than that. –  Kris Feb 2 '12 at 14:16
    
Related: english.stackexchange.com/q/11874/2303 –  Robusto Feb 2 '12 at 14:23

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

upright
Apparently, the author meant upright not upside.

I do not think there's more to it than that. The preceding sentences in that post too have spelling and grammatical errors, as the author does not seem to be a native English speaker. No need to be overly concerned about these minor things.

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I have a suggested edit pending which should fix the spelling and grammar errors. However I am confused by "No need to be overly concerned about these minor things," I am trying to remember the word I was thinking of. And you're right, I think "upright" is perfect. –  Josh Feb 2 '12 at 15:54
    
@Josh: re 'No need ...," I meant it happens to us all sometimes -- we know the right word, we set out to type it down, but somehow end up with a near-homonym or a near-homophone of it instead. –  Kris Feb 3 '12 at 4:17

While not the best for this specific case, in general the word "aligned" would work.

Something which is aligned is in its correct relative position or orientation. For instance, see meaning 2.

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An answer is in the title of your question: "properly oriented".

Infants can detect a properly oriented human face right after they are born.

Alternatively, the opposite of upside down is right-side up.

Infants can detect a right-side up human face right after they are born.

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I thought of "right-side up" but that also sounded awkward. I guess maybe "a properly oriented human face" is the best there is... –  Josh Feb 2 '12 at 13:37

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