[Ads-l] "VERB at straws"

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Wed Sep 21 21:36:16 EDT 2016


It seems as if, in attempting to avoid the clutch of an English cliche, I've
been clasped in the grasp (deponent at this point utters a startled gasp) of an
*American* one!  The shame on it ...

                    TANJ!!!!

Robin.

[Many thanks for running the N-gram search for me, Ben.  As we say here, "Why
keep a dog and bite yourself?"  R.]

> 
>     On 22 September 2016 at 01:58 Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> 
>     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
> 

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


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