"Boston Strong"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sat May 18 15:50:41 UTC 2013

Meant to mention: in NJ, an alternative to "Jersey Strong" post-Sandy
has been "Jersey Tough." See, e.g.:

"We're resilient, we're Jersey-tough, we are Stronger Than the Storm. "

That harks back to the "Built Ford Tough" slogan for Ford Trucks,
which has been around since at least 1976:



On Sat, May 18, 2013 at 10:34 AM, Ben Zimmer
<bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> I wrote a column for the Boston Globe, and a Word Routes followup, on
> "Boston Strong" and its predecessors:
> http://b.globe.com/strongbz
> http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/an-army-of-strong-slogans/
> Thanks to Hugo and the other participants in this thread for their
> contributions.
> 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/

Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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