snowclone: A by B, C by D

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Thu Sep 27 22:05:41 UTC 2007

I just happened to pick up a promo magazine for Yukon (one of
Canada's northern territories) someone left lying in the subway, and
one of the articles had this headline:

Yukon: Innovative by nature, entrepreneurial by tradition

Which brought to my consciousness the fact that this seems to be an
increasingly common phrasing: A by B, C by D, where A and C are
adjectives usually related somehow and B and D are nouns usually
having some contrast or similar relation. There was an ad on the
subway last year for a herbal menopause treatment which had had a
medical trial, the only result of which the ad actually reported was
that many of the patients chose to stay on the treatment after the
trial was over. Its tag line (IIRC) was

Trialled by doctors, trusted by patients

This kind of construction is a bit tedious to dig up more of on
Google because of all the other things "* by *, * by *" can dig up.
But here are a couple of others:

Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science

Moved by Freedom - Powered by Standards

I think this one might still be accelerating.

James Harbeck.

The American Dialect Society -

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