What is this Harvard?
On come the snowclones. Recently, in the pages of the New Yorker
(October 10, 2005, p.
80), Malcolm "Blink" Gladwell reflected on his experience in applying
for college in Canada, contrasting it with the American experience of
applying to, and going to, elite colleges:
Once, I attended a wedding of a Harvard
alum in his fifties, at which the best man spoke of his college days
with the groom as if neither could have accomplished anything of
greater importance in the intervening thirty years. By the end, I
half expected him to take off his shirt and proudly display the large
crimson "H" tattooed on his chest. What is this "Harvard" of which you
Americans speak so reverently?
Two snowclone-attentive correspondents (Benita Bendon Campbell and
Matthew Hutson) have pointed me to this Gladwell passage, harking back
to my July Language Log postings on this formula, here
Nice to see this variant of it in the pages of the New Yorker
I know, I know, this is just a tiny bulletin in the snowclone
annals. But the fact is that I've been collecting comments on
earlier snowclone postings, and nominations for new snowclones, for
many, many months (don't ask how many), intending to assemble them all
in one big summary posting. At this point, I'd have to carve out
a whole day in my life to do it. So the above pathetically brief
Gladwell reference is the best I have to offer right now. Now to work
back through all the earlier stuff.
zwicky at-sign csli period stanford period edu
Posted by Arnold Zwicky at October 12, 2005 01:36 AM