- Robot Wisdom Weblog, 02 Nov 1998 The earliest known example, under the name "MemeWatch".
Does not apply to this page, since it is about the concept and not the word.
Put it on Wikipedia. If he's not notable enough to have a Wikipedia page, then we don't need to link to his SSN or picture or webpage or fingerprint. DAVilla 08:02, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Kept. See archived discussion of December 2007. 04:18, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Grammar of snowclones
Snowclones have some interest for grammatical amateurs like me. I think of them as formulaic phrases with their own micro-grammar of semantic restrictions on the filling of two or more syntactic slots. (I say two to distinguish them from simple cases of complementation.) The formula has no one form (set of slot fillers) dominant. When one substitutes in one slot, one must make compatible substitution in one or more other slots.
Thus, there are two sets of snowclones at Wikisaurus:mad person: "not the Xest Y in the Z" and "X short of a Y".
In the first, X is the term which alone could modify something outside the snowclone. The choice of X restricts candidates for X which restricts candidates for Z.
In the second, the need is for a pair of terms where X is a NP referring to one or more necessary parts of Y. The NP must refer to one or more of a set of similar, non-identical units that make up Y, where Y is itself a meaningful whole. (Saying "A roof short of a house" or "a couple eggs short of dozen" would be less felicitous.)