make it plain beautiful

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
He is one of the campers who offers Josh his moments-- the caught moments that make Josh come back every year, that get him through the winters of planning and recruiting, that, in fact, make it not a sad job for a man to have, but make it plain beautiful.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

Nathan Englander
taken from http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2647254

Hello,

How do I understand "make it plain beautiful"? I know there is an expression "make it plain + clause", but I don't understand this one. Or is this another expression where plain acts as an adverb?

Thanks.
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    This has nothing to do with "making something plain". Your hunch is right, "plain" is an adverb modifying the adjective "beautiful". This "make" is not part of any idiom; notice how "make" appears several times in the sentence, all of twhich have "the caught moments" as subject. These moments:
    * make him come back,
    * get him through the winters,
    * make it not a sad job,
    * make it plain beautiful.

    Presumably the "it" which is being made beautiful is the job.
     

    Groovo

    Member
    USA
    English (US)
    By the use of the word plain, Josh is saying that there is no better word to describe his feelings about the job than "beautiful". Other words may be grander, or more eloquent, but he is unable to apply those words because they don't accurately reflect his emotional state when thinking about the job. I imagine him with just a hint of a tear in the corner of his eye. He is almost at a loss for words. And the simple(plain) word "beautiful" captures that emotion.

    For more on this you may want to look at the thread "caught moments".
     
    Last edited:

    hopefultoo

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    He is one of the campers who offers Josh his moments-- the caught moments that make Josh come back every year, that get him through the winters of planning and recruiting, that, in fact, make it not a sad job for a man to have, but make it plain beautiful.How do I understand "make it plain beautiful"? I know there is an expression "make it plain + clause", but I don't understand this one. Or is this another expression where plain acts as an adverb?

    Thanks.
    Plain is often used as a contraction of plain and simple - meaning no more and no less, without any modification or quibble - you can't argue with this.

    That's the plain and simple truth
    becomes that's the plain truth. This is a very common expression and closely associates the expression with truth.
    So: He's just stupid, that's the plain and simple truth becomes he's just plain stupid. This is quite a common expression.

    It is plain beautiful means:

    It is the plain and simple truth that it is beautiful.
     
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