Could it be that we are hearing the hysterical pleas of “environmental activists” to change our ways or face doom and noticing that not only are they not changing their ways, but that their ways are far worse than our own? The loudest, most obnoxious and aggressive voices telling us the world is about to end plain old don’t act like it.
[New York Post]

What does 'plain old' mean here?

  • I suspect NYP was pushing that point too far, and should instead have used '(,)just plain', preferably with that comma. In contrived contrast, 'a plain old action' would work but 'just plain action' would not. Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 18:04
  • 1
    There is an editing error, something is missing or wrong
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 17:43
  • It's more common as an adjective: Wiktionary; there's also an existing question about "plain old" vs "plain, old" as noun modifiers.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


"plain old" is an intensified use of the adverb/adjective "plain". It can have a variety of meanings in this context, such as "obviously" or "simply".

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