strum up support

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Feb 17 18:07:23 UTC 2008

Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
> On Feb 16, 2008, at 12:52 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>> I was curious what the preferred version might be, so I found the
>> entry
>> at, where it says
>> that "drum up" is considered correct.
>> I don't think that's enough to make me stop using "strum up,"
>> though. Is
>> there a specific reason why strum up support is dispreferred? It's
>> still
>> using a musical instrument and it sounds better since it employs
>> alliteration..
> one of the things that makes eggcorns so interesting is the fact that
> the clear examples *make sense* (to at least some people), so that
> people are willing to defend their versions.  but the fact is that
> their versions are not the ones that most other people use.  that is,
> the reason that X is dispreferred is just that most other people use
> something other than X.  there's nothing especially deep going on here.
> when you use an eggcorn, various things can happen: the people you're
> talking to might share the eggcorn, so there's no problem; they might
> silently and unconsciously "correct" it (in effect, "hearing" their
> usage instead of yours); they might take you to be being playful or
> creative with language; they might balk at it for a moment and then
> work out what you're trying to say, perhaps putting your usage down to
> a dialect difference, or perhaps judging your usage to be simply
> incorrect; or they might grind to an uncomprehending halt
> (fortunately, this last possibility seems to be pretty rare).

Thank you and others for the detailed explanation. I was wondering
because some (like "for all intense purposes") do have a reason. Here,
it seems to simply be a case of the traditionally preferred item. BB

The American Dialect Society -

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