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From an on-line gossip and opinion column:

“Comment to Mike Beebe: I don’t care if you are Democrat or Republican. I cannot possibly vote for someone who touts the great education in Arkansas that you supposedly received, all the while saying ‘I came up’. Do you mean you ‘grew’ up, or were ‘brought’ up? You are not encouraging me to vote for you, nor are you showing me what a wonderful education you received in our public schools. You are only showing me that you will purposely use bad grammar to seem more ‘folksy’, or that you are rather poorly educated and don’t know the difference. I cringe every time I see your ads telling me how how you ‘came up’.”

A reader passed this along to us, with his own counter-comment:

“This guy needs to know the proper word is ‘reared’ — as in ‘He was born in New York and reared in Los Angeles.’ ”

Both commentators are stricter than I. As for raised and reared, Random House says: “Both raise and rear are used in the United States to refer to the upbringing of children. Although raise was formerly condemned in this sense (‘You raise hogs but you rear children’), it is now standard.”

Came up is perhaps more questionable. I can’t find any usage authority that says flatly it’s OK or it’s not. But Random House gives more than 60 definitions of come and some of these sound very close to the way Beebe is using it (“To enter into being or existence; be born”). RH also pairs come with just about every preposition in the language except up (come down, come by, come at), which could be read in a couple of ways — (a) that up’s exclusion means it’s definitely unacceptable, or (b) that the listing of all these acceptable prepositions suggests there’s no good reason not to match come with another.

More importantly, came up is certainly in the vernacular, that is “The plain variety of language in everyday use by ordinary people.” If Beebe, a lawyer, were drafting a legal document, he might want to avoid came up. The same will apply to gubernatorial proclamations, if he has the opportunity. As a political candidate, he gets a little slack.




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