January 18, 2007

A full year of The New Y

I know I promised a while ago that I wouldn't be posting further sightings of the snowclone The New Y.  But now Randall Szott at Leisure Arts has offered me a diagram summarizing a whole year's sightings:

The project documents every instance of the phrase "is the new" encountered from various sources in 2005. It is intended to map the iterations of a peculiarly common marketing and literary device.

Here's a copy for you to look at right here on Language Log:

It's fascinating as an art object as well as a presentation of large amounts of information.  And the centrality of black is very clear.

Since I'm already posting, I might as well include the latest sightings at Language Log Plaza:
  • On New Year's Eve Eve Eve, Chris Worth wrote to quote a friend who asked: "Didn't you know?  New Year's Eve Eve is the new New Year's Eve".
  • Then the Zippy cartoon of 1/6/07 had this exchange:

    Zippy: Yes.  Adam Sandler is th' Jerry Lewis of our time -- a true auteur!
    Griffy: Don't hold your breath.
    Zippy: Will Nancy Pelosi listen to Adam Sandler's plan for withdrawal from Iraq?  Or are we all doomed?
    Griffy: You're wrong.  Donald Rumsfeld is th' new Jerry Lewis.
  • On 1/9/07, Jason Grafmiller noticed, as he was driving down the freeway, a sign for a hardware store that declared: "Grass is the new concrete."  He and I found this one mildly puzzling.
  • Then on the front page of the New York Times of 1/15/07, Louise Story reported in "Anywhere the Eye Can See, It's Now Likely to See an Ad":

    "We never know where the consumer is going to be at any point point in time, so we have to find a way to be everywhere," said Linda Kaplan Thaler, chief executive at the Kaplan Thaler Group, a New York ad agency.  "Ubiquity is the new exclusivity."

    Another one that takes a moment to piece out.

[Addendum 1/19/07: Ben Zimmer relays a report from Bob Yates on a recent article in Salon Magazine, which begins with a great wave of The New Y: "Now that ugly is the new pretty, white is the new black, and black is the new pink, back fat is the new six-pack, crotch shot is the new boob flash, Eastwood is the new Spielberg, babies are the new handbag dogs, handbag dogs are the new shelter dogs, and George Clooney is the new George Clooney, I guess it's about time that midseason became the new fall season."]

zwicky at-sign csli period stanford period edu

Posted by Arnold Zwicky at January 18, 2007 06:18 PM