Learn English – Is “make due” now considered acceptable


Whilst plodding through Patrick Rothfuss' "The Name of the Wind", I came across:

Our dinner was nowhere near as grand as last night's. We made due with the last of my now-stale flatbread, dried meat, and the last potatoes baked on the edge of the fire.

I've seen "make do" mangled into "make due" before on the Interwebz. But this is the first time that I've run across it in a professional work. A quick search on Google Books reveals that Rothfuss and his editor are not the only ones who are happy to let this one pass.

Most language sites on the net including this one continue to gently correct the questioner by pointing out the correct form. Yet, there are some which appear to condone this practice with a dispassionate that-is-the-way-language-works stance on the matter.

So, what's the deal? Is "make due" now considered acceptable?

P.S. It might be relevant to note that Rothfuss is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin.

Best Answer

As a Brit, I'd never confuse "make due" and "make do", but per comments above, they are homophones for some Americans (which as John Lawler comments, could put us in deep do-due here). I still don't really understand how anyone could think "due" makes sense, but here's someone on The Eggcorn Database who says he can (I think he's not exactly a "careful thinker", but there you go).

This NGram claims 44,400 instances of "make do", and 288 of "make due"...

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...but when I scroll through them it seems there are actually only 74 instances of the incorrect form. But the actual numbers are irrelevant - it's incorrect, meaningless, and unacceptable.