Monday, August 13, 2007

Quickie Post: Writing with Snowclones

Should you find yourself with a few hours on your hands, take a wander by the Language Log where the term “snowclone” takes on more shades than Eskimos have words for snow. In order to “get” that joke, you’ll have to take a read through the post about such phrases that lazy writers use. Then head to the main page and start reading the new posts.

I was so engrossed that I almost forgot to post today, which is my backhanded way of apologizing for so skimpy a contribution. Then again, I don’t have much to add except that I agree with the initial assertion. If the best opening line you can come up with is a play on a well-known phrase (a snowclone, in other words) then you’d better take a break from trying to write one. Go play with your lolcats for a while. That makes two new terms I learned today worked into one post. The Internet is a dangerous and fascinating thing.




I still didn't understand the exact meaning of the term snowclone.



As I understand it, you create a snowclone when you take a well-known phrase like "Beef: It's What's for Dinner" and substitute your own words. The key is that the result it still recognizably linked with the original. You could say, "Roast Beef: It's What's for Lunch" and people would see that it's a play on the original slogan.