Columbine vocabulary

AAllan at AOL.COM AAllan at AOL.COM
Thu Mar 29 20:13:37 UTC 2001

Inquiry from a Denver reporter:

>>I'm working on a story for the second anniversary of Columbine, and we're
exploring ways, large and small, in which the school shooting changed
American life. I'm wondering if there are some linguistic ripples still being
felt. I noted that the term "trench coat mafia" rated a mention under the
"Brand New" heading of the 1999 words of the year, but I didn't see
"Columbine" mentioned -- although it does seem that the word has achieved
almost generic status barely two years after the tragedy.<<

If you have observations on whether he's right about Columbine becoming a
generic; or other aspects of vocabulary affected by the Columbine shooting;
please e-mail Kevin Simpson at KSimpson at
and perhaps post to ADS-L as well. Thanks - Allan Metcalf

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