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Make it up Options
ClaireNguyen
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2018 5:46:42 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 2/6/2018
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Hello,

Mark Twain once said that:"I must have a prodigious quantity of mind. It takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up".
Since he is a writer, I guess that "make it up" in his sentence is "inventing a story". Am I correct?
If not, please help me to paraphrase it.
Thank you.
BobShilling
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2018 6:42:39 AM
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Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
The 'it' is his mind. He takes a long time to make up his mind, i.e., come to a decision.
thar
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2018 6:48:22 AM

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Noi, because here ''it' has to refer back to a previous noun. And that is his mind.

I must have a prodigious quantity of mind. It takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up".

He does make up stories, but here, there is no mention of any story, so it doesn't mean that.


It means he takes as much as a week to make up his mind.


That is an idiom meaning to decide, to make a decision.

Tfd
Quote:
make up your mind

make up (one's) mind
1. To make a final decision after a period of consideration. Also seen as "make (one's) mind up."
I've made up my mind, and I think we should move after all.
I'm not sure what flavor I want—I'm still making my mind up.

2. To become convinced of a particular course of action. Also seen as "make (one's) mind up."
Right then and there, I made up my mind that I would become a police officer when I grew up.



It means he does not come to an instant decision when he is faced with a problem. He thinks about it for a long time before coming to a final decision.


He was playing with the idiom - it takes him a long time to make up his mind because he has 'a lot of mind'. That is a joke because your mind is an abstract thing, not a physical thing with size, like your brain.
ClaireNguyen
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2018 7:11:23 AM

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Joined: 2/6/2018
Posts: 23
Neurons: 620
Thank you BobShilling, and Thank you Thar,

You have given me a very detailed explanation. So, all that he would like to share is about the indecision of human.
ChrisKC
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2018 9:42:30 AM

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Joined: 7/27/2014
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Location: Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand
ClaireNguyen wrote:
Thank you BobShilling, and Thank you Thar,

You have given me a very detailed explanation. So, all that he would like to share is about the indecision of human.


Yes, Thar's explanation excellent. Playing with words was something that Mark Twain was always doing. Look up some of his quotations - they are so clever and full of insight to human behaviour.
ChrisKC
Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2018 9:46:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/27/2014
Posts: 242
Neurons: 70,825
Location: Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand
ClaireNguyen wrote:
Thank you BobShilling, and Thank you Thar,

You have given me a very detailed explanation. So, all that he would like to share is about the indecision of human.


But the words "Make it (his mind) up" is not not special to Mark Twain. It is in extremely common usage with English Speakers.
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