snowclone: A by B, C by D

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Fri Sep 28 14:06:01 UTC 2007

From:    James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA>

> 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

Whenever i've seen this, i've always read it as an extension of the old
A:B::C:D SAT analogies: A is to B in just the same way as C is to D.

Pretty much what you said, except that it would explain why it works for
marketing purposes.


David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

The American Dialect Society -

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