[Ads-l] "VERB at straws"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 21 20:58:43 EDT 2016

Google Ngrams reveals that "grasp" is favored in AmE and "clutch" in BrE.
You can use the search query <*_VERB at straws> to see the most frequently
appearing verbs, and then select the appropriate subcorpus.

AmE: https://goo.gl/3epOyY
BrE: https://goo.gl/iHbBbT

"Reach" doesn't appear to be popular on either side of the Atlantic.

On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 6:26 PM, Robin Hamilton <
robin.hamilton3 at virginmedia.com> wrote:

> I suspect that Wilson, Joel, and myself are all into cliche-avoidance --
> or am I
> clutching at the proverbial here?
> Anyone competent to run (which might provide a semi-solid answer to
> Wilson's
> question) an N-gram trace on "grasp/reach/clutch" "at/after" "straws"?
> I confess using that particular (and useful) google add-on baffles me.
> Robin.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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