Thursday, December 30, 2010

Where are the snowclones of yesteryear?

Just asking. (And because Google draws a blank on the phrase and I should record it in the unlikely event that I have coined it...) But is anyone familiar with snowclone-like phenomena in pre-1950 literature? By a snowclone I mean -- as usual -- a cliche with free parameters. I can't remember any examples in Fowler -- off the top of my head -- that would work; going back further, I suspect there must have been at least some examples in the poetry of the "heroic-couplet" age between Dryden and Johnson, but I can't think of any concrete examples. And is the hendiadys of Shakespeare -- the recurring "X and Y of Z" form -- a snowclone?

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