Sunday, June 12, 2011


I know what you're thinking.

You're thinking that I made an error when I typed the title to this post. The 4000 degree heat has addled my brain, people will say. She obviously meant to type 'snowclowns'. Yeah, that must be it! That blogger needs to stop writing her blog posts after she's had a few glasses of wine.

But you would be wrong. But to be fair, I thought the exact same thing when I saw the word "snowclones". I had to go and look it up.

According to the Wikipedia page:

A snowclone is a type of cliché and phrasal template originally defined as "a multi-use, customizable, instantly recognizable, time-worn, quoted or misquoted phrase or sentence that can be used in an entirely open array of different variants".[1]

An example of a snowclone is "grey is the new black", a version of the template "X is the new Y". X and Y may be replaced with different words or phrases – for example, "comedy is the new rock 'n' roll".[2] The term "snowclone" can be applied to both the original phrase and to any new phrase that uses its formula.

In other words, a snowclone is a ready made Mad Lib. It is not what happens when someone builds a bunch of snowmen who are all exactly alike, a la Calvin and Hobbes.

Isn't language fun? Just when I think I've got a handle on stuff, they up and add something new! Of course, the guy who coined the word 'snowclone' had to have been drunk. Either that or he was doing the linguistic equivalent of that party game where you create your porn name based on the street where you lived as a child and the city where you were born. *cough* Not that I ever played that game at parties.

So...seen any snowclones milling about?

All your X are belong to Y.
X is the new Y.
I'm a doctor, not an X.
To X or not to X.
Got X?
Don't mess with X.

I've been having fun with these since yesterday, using randomly chosen words from the dictionary. Then I found this database of snowclones. And I now I plan to 'get my geek on'. Get it? It's a snowclone!


  1. I know I should be thinking about snowclones but that's a very interesting party game. I think I'd like that particular porn name.

  2. That could be as much fun as a barrel of cookies?


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