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My sense is that these phrases mean the same thing: the suspension has been reversed or nullfied.

Here's the Ngram, for what it's worth.

The fact that "lifted the suspension" is much more popular than "dropped the suspension" surprises me, since I'm inclined to think that the way to counteract a suspension should be to put it down, not further up.

So two questions.

(1) Is the Ngram right that we should prefer lift to drop in this context?

(2) Regardless of what is "right," how did the seemingly counter-intuitive phrase come to be the dominant one?

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Besides lifting and dropping, one can do any number of other things to a suspension— raise it, cancel it, perhaps even suspend it. In a different sense, your car's suspension can also be lifted or dropped (perhaps while waiting for your school suspension to be lifted or dropped). So even if an n-gram could tell us right from not right, this is not an adequate nGram to use. – choster Aug 9 '12 at 23:41
Let's not forget that "suspension" is also a kind of bridge. – Kit Z. Fox Aug 9 '12 at 23:44
@choster: I think the NGram is quite adequate for showing that lift occurs far more often than drop with suspension. The fact that there are multiple senses for the word suspension that can actually be "dropped/lifted" isn't really any more relevant than the fact that one very common one (small solid particles in a suspending liquid) can't apply with any such words in the first place. – FumbleFingers Aug 10 '12 at 1:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Lift has other meanings in addition to "raise up"

It can also mean: to rescind or revoke as in an embargo or a suspension.

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Drop has the idea of dropping the issue, giving up, etc., whereas lift still implies being in control. At least it seems that way to me.

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