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    • Join Date: Jan 2007
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    #1

    close up

    And when it's about bringing out the beauty in the beast it takes nothing short of a small herd. Three to four people work on one camel for a few hours before it's ready for its close up.

    And if the camels have stepped into beauty salons then the lean mean ship of the desert intruding the ramps doesn't really seem all that far out.

    Please explain the highlighted group of words.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: close up

    Quote Originally Posted by user_gary View Post
    And when it's about bringing out the beauty in the beast it takes nothing short of a small herd. Three to four people work on one camel for a few hours before it's ready for its close up.

    And if the camels have stepped into beauty salons then the lean mean ship of the desert intruding the ramps doesn't really seem all that far out.

    Please explain the highlighted group of words.
    What's the context? The last sentence looks very strange (not syntactically, but semantically). Here are some definitions that may help you work out what it all means.

    bring out the beauty in the beast - make apparent the inherent (superficially invisible) b in the b. There is a passing reference (with no added meaning, I think) to the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.

    nothing short of - no less than ['a small herd' is presumably a reference to human attendants - the choice of the word 'herd' is influenced by the animal context.

    ship of the desert - common metaphor for a camel.

    lean mean - collocation meaning what it says: 'thin (not weighed down) and ruthless'

    intruding the ramps - perhaps the expression 'the ramps' refers to the stage featured in a beauty pageant; 'intruding' just implies 'they're there, and they don't belong'

    far out - this is a metaphor based on a metaphor (I suppose you could call it 'a metametaphor'). When a ship is 'far out', you can just see it on the horizon. That's where the camels are, in the imagined future possibility. (There is another meaning of 'far out' - 'weird' - which may be involved.)

    I hope that all helps. It's not an easy passage

    b

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