"Boston Strong"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sat May 18 14:34:08 UTC 2013

I wrote a column for the Boston Globe, and a Word Routes followup, on
"Boston Strong" and its predecessors:


Thanks to Hugo and the other participants in this thread for their


On Fri, May 3, 2013 at 6:56 AM, Hugo <hugovk at gmail.com> wrote:
> Livestrong Foundation (formerly Lance Armstrong Foundation) is the "cancer-
> related" "charity" set up by since-digraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, and they
> sold yellow wristbands with their logo to raise money. The logo is all caps,
> with the "STRONG" in bold.
> Wikipedia says the foundation was established in 1997, the Livestrong brand
> was launched in 2003, and the wristbands were launched in 2004.
> Checking the Wayback Machine capture of livestrong.org shows they wrote their
> name "Live Strong" in at least 2003 and 2004, and used an all-caps logo with
> bolded "strong" from at least 2004.
> USA Today reports two students created blue tshirts with yellow "BOSTON
> STRONG" text:
> ===
> We wanted to create a venue for the average college student to help make a
> difference," [Nick] Reynolds said. "We developed Boston Strong off of
> Livestrong and Army Strong, because it was something simple people could get
> behind. It's been absolutely insane how it's taken off."
> ===
> http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/30/boston-strong-emerson-tshirt-fundraiser/2124053/
> A CBS article entitled "Bernstein: Stop Using ‘_____ -Strong’" says:
> ===
> “CHUCKSTRONG” and “Boston Strong” are obvious re-workings of Livestrong, the
> shamed, corrupt charity that put a yellow bracelet on millions of gullible
> sheep. That name was born as part of a larger campaign to enrich Lance
> Armstrong and shield him from criticism, using the catchy second syllable of
> his last name.
> It was originally called The Lance Armstrong Foundation, and then it adopted
> the snappier new handle.
> The USADA took him down on August 24, 2012, but that wasn’t enough to stop
> the Colts from titling their [CHUCKSTRONG] cause referentially just weeks
> later. It was unfortunate then and looks even worse, now, the choice to tie
> any charity in any way to someone so entirely reprehensible. Nothing but kind
> thought behind it and laudable action as a result, but it still makes any
> critical thinker uncomfortably, needlessly mindful of someone who gamed the
> same system for his own benefit.
>> Here’s calling for a little less laziness, a little more creativity, and an
> increased desire by all of us to remove any last vestiges of his presence
> from organized attempts to aid those in need.
> ===
> http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/04/24/bernstein-stop-using-_____-strong/

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