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make it keep Options
vkhu
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 8:14:42 AM
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Quote:
In the next place, I had no hops to make it keep, no yeast to make it work, no copper or kettle to make it boil; [...]

-Robinson Crusoe


Here Robinson is listing the things he needs to make beer. I get most of the process, but I don't understand the part about making it "keep". Does it mean giving the beer flavor or something?
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 8:58:48 AM
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Joined: 3/30/2016
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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
vkhu wrote:
Quote:
In the next place, I had no hops to make it keep, no yeast to make it work, no copper or kettle to make it boil; [...]

-Robinson Crusoe


Here Robinson is listing the things he needs to make beer. I get most of the process, but I don't understand the part about making it "keep". Does it mean giving the beer flavor or something?


Hops in beer do add flavour but they are also a preservative and allow the beer to be stored for longer.
An example of the is the origins of the type of beer called an IPA or Indian Pale Ale which was brewed in Britain with a high hop content that allowed it to be shipped to India for consumption by British people wishing to drink a beer from home.

Here keep means to allow the beer to be stored for a time.
This definition might help; "8. To preserve (food)." TFD.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/keep

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
NKM
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017 2:22:55 PM

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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Quite a number of English (transitive) verbs can be used this way. We say something "keeps well" to mean that it can be kept for a long time.

Similarly:
- "A roast which cooks for three hours"
- "A car which rides smoothly"
- "A book which reads quickly"
- "A fabric which feels soft"
- "A surface which cleans easily"
- "A dish which rinses clean"

I'm sure that grammarians have a technical term for this kind of verb usage, but I don't know what it is.

moabge
Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 6:07:57 AM

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Location: Trieste, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
Thanks vkhu, good and interesting!
Another curious aspect I noticed in this quote is that the sentence begins with "the next step", alluding to a future action, but goes on using the simple past (I had...).
I like this kind of writing that consciously goes beyond the triviality.
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