Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In this context:

trying to become a staple amongst the community

share|improve this question
    
Can you provide more context? –  Callithumpian Mar 21 '11 at 21:58
1  
it's in response to this answer english.stackexchange.com/questions/17240/…. In this context, "staple" means "a default need; a basic necessity", and "community" means "the target audience for this product". –  tenfour Mar 21 '11 at 22:09
    
So it is a thing, not a person. Might want to rephrase to state who is trying to make it a staple. –  Kelly Hess Mar 21 '11 at 22:17
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Something that has become both common and expected in the same sense that bread and milk are staple foods:

a necessary commodity for which demand is constant

share|improve this answer
1  
+1; Synonyms for this context could be "a pillar of the community." –  MrHen Mar 21 '11 at 21:53
    
Thanks. I was hoping the "trying" part was just a bad word choice and the quote wasn't referring to a person. I'm not sure I want to know in what sense a person can become a staple amongst a community. :) –  Kelly Hess Mar 21 '11 at 21:58
    
Strangely, I have heard the phrase before now. I couldn't possibly remember where but I recognized it immediately. It does seem odd given the traditional use of "staple," but I've seen stranger things. :) –  MrHen Mar 21 '11 at 22:01
add comment

It's not a very good word choice. "Staple" is most commonly associated with basic foodstuffs. Flour, oil, and eggs are all "staples".

The meaning of the word has stretched somewhat, so anything that is considered to be necessary, central, or key can be described as a staple, but the food connotation usually restricts the usage.

share|improve this answer
    
I hear "staple of the community" now and again. The phrase isn't completely new. –  MrHen Mar 21 '11 at 21:59
    
Yes, sometimes I too hear things that are wrong. –  z7sg Ѫ Mar 21 '11 at 22:32
    
@mrhen: Sure, but it's usually applied to institutions, not to people. People are Pillars of the community. –  Satanicpuppy Mar 22 '11 at 3:21
add comment

It is hard to tell without context, but I think maybe there is some confusion here between the concepts of "staple" foods, as outlined by Satanicpuppy and Kelly C Hess, and the phrase pillar of the community, which means a prominent and respected member of the community.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.