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Once Upon a Snowclone

November 4, 2015

I’m thinking about language again this week. The concept of snowclones has popped up in a couple places and I’m equal parts fascinated by them and regretting that I graduated before they became such a Thing.

Snowclones are basically phrasal templates that keep popping up with different words in them. “Grey is the new black”, sure, but so are white, orange, stripes, and kittens, and you can even swap black out for something else. “Ducklings are the new sloth,” for instance. Why not?

So yeah, this isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. For years, possibly centuries, people have heard interesting, catchy phrases and played around with them. They have, let’s say, boldly gone where many have gone before. What really excites me, though, is that internet culture and geekdom seem to be fanning the flames.

Here’s a compilation of snowclones. Here’s another. Here’s the article that started it all for me.

I’m seized with a desire to both track down as many as I can and find new ones, and test just how far you can push the boundary replacement. Sadly, I do not have the time. That’s life for you.

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