November 14, 2005

Snowclone shortening

After reading Geoff's post yesterday on "it sleeps obedience", I'm thinking that this might be a deliberately shortened version of the snowclone "X eats, drinks, and sleeps Y", which generally means that all X does is (related to) Y. The first page of ghits for "eats, drinks, and sleeps" displays some typical examples.

[ Update: Aidan Kehoe rightly comments:

From the Tom Paine of two hundred years ago? The OED doesn't mention the "eats, drinks, and sleeps" construction under any of the verbs, which to me says it's recent

Somehow, I missed that it was a Paine quote. Thanks for the correction, Aidan -- that's what I get for posting before coffee. ]

  • When he's not out scaling mountains (he's a world-class rock climber), author Jim Collins eats, drinks, and sleeps business. (link)
  • He eats, drinks, and sleeps movies. Fortunately, he lives in New York City, the best place in the country for disorders of this type. (link)
  • He eats, drinks, and sleeps football, until Walter miscalculates and the roof caves in. (link)
  • A visit to Dr. Dre's recording studio reveals that he eats, drinks and sleeps rap--and rarely rests. (link)
  • Scientific openmindedness and thinking does not stop at 5 pm. One eats, drinks and sleeps scientific exploration. But how to get this across to students! (link)
  • We are seeking someone who works, eats, drinks, and sleeps the user's experience. (link)
  • My son eats, drinks, and sleeps basketball. By coming here, he has improved SO much. (link)

The shortened version "it sleeps obedience" indicates to me both the sense of the full snowclone that all "it" (parliament) does is to obey, and also that it does so completely passively (like sleeping), not actively (like eating and drinking), due to the PM's "opium wand".

[ Comments? ]

Posted by Eric Bakovic at November 14, 2005 06:43 AM