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Crash Blossoms (and other language tidbits)

The Rich Writer: Crash Blossoms (and other language tidbits)

The Rich Writer

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Monday, February 1, 2010

Crash Blossoms (and other language tidbits)


So reads the headline that reportedly birthed a new phrase for those moments when brevity interferes with meaning: crash blossoms. Here’s another example, drawn from Mark Peters’ article on the topic: McDonald's fries the holy grail for potato farmers (Laurence Horn (via Steve Anderson) on the American Dialect Society listserv).

I think that the Internet has sped up language development. For instance, ever hear of a snowclone? According to the Urban Dictionary, a snowclone is “A type of formula-based cliché that uses an old idiom in a new context. A common example: "X is the new Y", a generic form of the original expression "pink is the new black". In order to apply the snowclone, X and Y should be substituted with new words or phrases.”

So when I say “Scripts? We don’t need no stinking scripts!” I’m using a snowclone (although I might not know it at the time.) (Here’s a terrif article about snowclones, if you desire further distraction.)

Ah, words. Don’t you love ’em?

:) Cheryl


At February 4, 2010 at 7:02 AM , Blogger dan said...

as the sort of kind of coiner of Crash Blossoms with the improbable last name of Bloom, go figure, here's my latest coinage, feel free to blog on it pro or con if you wish. Like it like that: Dan Bloom, coiner in chef. I wrote THE SNAILPAPER STATEMENT today, and here's a preview:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that while the Digital Age is upon us fast and furious, the print newspaper -- hereafter dubbed the "snailpaper" -- shall persevere as a good daily read, a fascinating look at the world around us and a valuable tool for understanding oped pundits and above the fold headlines. Sure, the dear snailpaper will also be seen as a useful tool

for wrapping fish at the Fulton Fish Market or lining the bird cage in the den, but all kidding aside -- har! har! -- the daily snailpaper can hold its head high and be certain of its place in the culture. While news migrates in pixels and bytes to the Internet at an exponential rate, piling breaking story upon breaking story and turning everyone and his mother into a 24/7 news freak and RSS aggregator, the plodding snailpaper will nevertheless remain the bedrock of analysis and insight, from sea to shining sea, delivered at a snail's pace, yes, read at a snail's pace, yes, and absorbed, word for word -- on glorius printed paper! white newsprint reflecting inked letters! -- at a snail's pace, yes, as long as the Republic of Letters shall live."

Full blast here:

At February 4, 2010 at 7:42 AM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Wow, fun! Thanks for sharing :)

At February 4, 2010 at 7:56 PM , Blogger dan said...

cheryl, also for fun, ca u blog one day about the coinage of snailpaeprs, for print papers, pro or con, have fun with it, humor is fine, but i want to spread the word, even more important than crash blossoms where i was joking, snailpapers is a serious term of endearment......HURRY! before they'
re gone@ danny in taiwan

At February 18, 2010 at 6:14 PM , Blogger dan said...

Novelty Song About the Newspaper Business that is Making Waves Across
Internet and soon to air on NPR, if they will have me on: the lyrics
mention Bill Keller, Ben Bradlee, Maureen Dowd, Alex Beam and Neil
Steinberg and have already started making the rounds online. All in
fun of course.


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