Saturday, November 04, 2006

Word of the day: snowclone.

Sometimes I'm amazed at the names for things. As I've pointed out before, Rumplestiltskin was right, and names have power. At least their origins are often interesting. From the Wikipedia entry for snowclone:

Snowclone is a neologism used to describe a type of formula-based cliché which uses an old idiom in a new context.
Okay, that's fascinating, albeit pretty damned confusing. How about an example?
A common example of a snowclone is "X is the new Y", which can be applied by inserting words or phrases for X and Y, "cloning" the trope of the original expression, "pink is the new black". For instance, this snowclone might appear as "Random is the New Order", a marketing phrase for the iPod shuffle.
Nice. And now... why "snowclone"?
The term is an allusion to one particular instance of the phenomenon:
If Eskimos have N words for snow, X surely have Y words for Z.
or simply the snowclone:
X have Y words for Z.
Is there something wrong with me? I love this stuff.


Kindralas said...

You didn't know about that? What we commonly call Buffyisms.

DrHeimlich said...

I like the cherry flavored ones.