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Yesterday's Partially Clips:

Anticipatory plagiarism by Rob Cottingham at Noise to Signal, covered in "The half-life of the hashtag", 3/1/2010:

Robert Merton: "Anticipatory plagiarism occurs when someone steals your original idea and publishes it a hundred years before you were born".

[These may not be his exact words. And we have to translate "years" into "weeks". But still.]


  1. Boris said,

    January 18, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

    Some of us had snowtober this season, so they could go with month names, though some work better than others and only atypical months for snow could be used. Do I hear snarch or snapril?

  2. Arnold Zwicky said,

    January 18, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

    The snowmanteaus have been piling up for some time. Three assemblages from various sources:

    Portmansnow words (link): snowtastrophe, snowpocalypse, snowmageddon, snowzilla

    Portmansnow round 2 (link): more examples, mostly from from Ben Zimmer's SnOMG! column (link)

    Inevitable portmanteau (link): Octsnowber; in comments, Snowctober, Snowtober

  3. Tony said,

    January 18, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    Here in Virginia we've been having "Oh, snow you didn't." Because it hasn't been anywhere near cold enough to snow.

  4. Rube said,

    January 18, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    The Inuit have 145 words for "Snowmageddon".

  5. Jason said,

    January 18, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

    I've never seen a snowman's toes

  6. HP said,

    January 18, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

    Like Tony, I'm looking for terms for predicted snowfalls that fail to materialize. "Disnowpointment" sounds a bit forced, but I'm rather fond of "blizzle."

  7. Ben Wolfson said,

    January 18, 2012 @ 7:16 pm

    The oulipo was interested in anticipatory plagiary—"writers who, lamentably unaware of the group's existence, could not know that they were creating paleo-Oulipian texts without acknowledgement."

    Which of the Oulipo and Merton proleptically stole the idea from the other is a thing I do not know.

  8. dazeystarr said,

    January 18, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

    Snudgement Day?

    As far as monthly portmanteaux, here in Portland (Oregon) we regularly experience a cold and rainy late spring/early summer that's dubbed "Junuary".

  9. Alexis Grant said,

    January 18, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    I heard Junuary being used for the warm spell in January, as well. It's interestingly ambiguous that way.

    The latest snow (non-)event got called "snow job" by at least a few people.

  10. Rolig said,

    January 19, 2012 @ 6:23 am

    I like the word "snowmanteau" and was actually disappointed to read it only meant "a portmanteau that uses the word 'snow' as one of the components". I initally assumed this was a portmanteau of "snowclone" and "portmanteau" and that it referred to "the snowclone of having to come up with a portmanteau for every possible situation as a way of appearing clever". This seems to me a much more appropriate application of "snowmanteau".

  11. Elizabeth said,

    January 19, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    Many years ago the forecast in Massachusetts was for a "paralyzing megastorm" and no nutty portmanteau has ever matched the enjoyment I get from repeating that phrase whenever the sky looks like snow.

  12. Q. Pheevr said,

    January 19, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

    Is a snowmanteau anything like a coat-des-neiges?

  13. Q. Pheevr said,

    January 20, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

    Or is it more like one of these?

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