Revised as of 4 October 2017
The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain can be a useful reminder that a plain is a geographic term, and once you have that in mind, I suppose you could also consider such a simple, ordinary word to clearly indicate the land as undecorated. Clearly a plain *grin*.
Now a plane could also be considered flat and undecorated, however it’s more of a tool, a philosophy, or an action.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Adjective 1; Adverb 1; Noun 1;
Verb, intransitive & transitive 2
Noun 3, 4, 5, 6;
Verb, intransitive & transitive 3, 4, 5
Not decorated or elaborate
Easy to perceive or understand
[Of a person] Not beautiful or attractive
[Of a knitting stitch] Made using a knit rather than a purl stitch
[Used for emphasis] Unequivocally
Also plain over
Completely level or flat
A level of existence, thought, or development
An airplane 4
Tool consisting of a block with a projecting steel blade used to smooth a wooden or other surface by paring shavings from it 5
A tall spreading tree with maple-like leaves and bark that peels in irregular patches 6
[Of a boat, surfboard, etc.] Skimming over the surface of water as a result of lift produced hydrodynamically
[Rare] Travel in an airplane 4
It was good plain food.
Everyone dined at a plain wooden table.
They required a plain fabric for use in their clothing.
Donations can be put in a plain envelope.
He was a plain, honest man with no nonsense about him.
For years he was just plain Bill.
The advantages were plain to see.
Tt was plain that something was very wrong.
I wish these things were written in plain English.
He winced at her plain speaking.
She was a dark-haired, rather plain woman of character.
The main problem is just plain exhaustion.
I can master plain knitting, but nothing fancier.
Perhaps the youth was just plain stupid.
Plane and solid geometry will do the trick.
Everything is connected on the spiritual plane.
Let’s take a plane to Aunt Margaret’s this summer.
Use the big plane to shave a few inches off that two-by-four.
The sycamore is a plane tree.
The planets orbit the sun in roughly the same plane.
He planed the bottom of the door so it cleared the carpet better.
Plane it smooth.
|Adjective: plainer, plainest
|History of the Word:|
|1 Middle English from the Old French plain, which is from the Latin planus, from a base meaning flat.
2 Middle English (1250-1300), plei (g) nen from the Old French plaign-, a stem of plaindre, which is from the Latin plangere meaning to beat (the breast, etc.), lament. It is akin to the Greek plḗssein meaning to strike.
|3 Early 17th century from the Latin planum meaning flat surface, a neuter of the adjective planus meaning plain. The adjective was suggested by the French plan(e) meaning flat. The word was introduced to differentiate the geometric senses, previously expressed by plain1, from the latter’s other meanings.
5 Middle English from a variant of obsolete French plaine meaning planing tool, which is from late Latin plana (in the same sense), from Latin planare meaning make level, which is from planus meaning plain, level.
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!
Pinterest Photo Credits:
Cody Aircraft Mark II RAE-O53 (pre-1914) by a Royal Engineers official photographer is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.