‘Snowclone’ Has Melted?

A little while ago I noticed a Wikipedia entry for a cute neologism, “Snowclone”, which was defined as something like, “the some-assembly-required adaptable cliché frames for lazy journalists” or “cliches that exist as templates, i.e. 'an X shade of Y' or 'X is the new Y'”

The primal snowclone appears to be “If Eskimos have N words for snow, X surely have Y words for Z.”

Wikipedia used to have a cute entry for these, but to my shock it is no more. Go to the entry for Snowclone, and not only has the entry been deleted, but it has been replaced with a note saying “This page has been deleted, and should not be re-created without a good reason.”

Well, ok, I can always go back to the page history and at least copy the cute definition and examples, right? Wrong. Where I would expect to find the old versions, I find instead a stern note: “This article has been deleted. The reason for deletion is shown in the summary below, along with details of the users who had edited this page before deletion. The actual text of these deleted revisions is only available to administrators.”

Apparently, while I wasn't looking “This article was successfully voted to death on VFD early this month.”

Snowclone melted. But I'm sure it will be back.

Meanwhile, get your snowclone links while they're…still hot.

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4 Responses to ‘Snowclone’ Has Melted?

  1. Michael says:

    As you may have noticed, the link to the remaining pages on which “snowclone” exists go to Language Log, which has heavy traffic from the linguistics community. And as you may also have noticed, the votes for deletion of this entry, pretty much incoherent and context-free, show no sign that the voters have any reasonable standing to vote for deletion of an entry on a language-related subject, or knowledge that would justify such standing. Wikipedia, unfortunately, doesn’t carry any guarantee that Einsteins will contribute or make decisions; in this case it looks like the Three Stooges are hard at work.

  2. Michael says:

    As you may have noticed, the link to the remaining pages on which “snowclone” exists go to Language Log, which has heavy traffic from the linguistics community. And as you may also have noticed, the votes for deletion of this entry, pretty much incoherent and context-free, show no sign that the voters have any reasonable standing to vote for deletion of an entry on a language-related subject, or knowledge that would justify such standing. Wikipedia, unfortunately, doesn’t carry any guarantee that Einsteins will contribute or make decisions; in this case it looks like the Three Stooges are hard at work.

  3. CG says:

    You mentioned standing, and now my brain is all spinny with a hypo involving a new agency to regulate neologisms (oh come on…much more republican rule and new words will be subject to review) and frustrated linguists and maybe a rapper. Or something.

  4. The magic of mirroring shows the old version of the page:

    http://www.factsite.co.uk/en/wikipedia/s/sn/snowclone.html

    Snowclone is a fill in the blank phrase.

    Examples:

    * I, for one, welcome our new X overlords.

    * In space, no one can hear you X

    * X is the new Y

    Fill in X,Y,Z with words

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