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Reply #8: Michael Kinsley comments on his attempts to coin phrases [View All]

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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-02-04 12:29 PM
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8. Michael Kinsley comments on his attempts to coin phrases
It must be embarrassing for him to be so transparent.

The term ''Bobos'' (short for ''bourgeois bohemians'') almost joined Tom Wolfe classics like ''the right stuff'' and ''radical chic'' in the Coinage Hall of Fame. The test of a successful coinage (I state with Brooksian bluff-authority) is whether many people use the term without knowing where it came from. If ''Bobos'' ultimately fell short, keep in mind that the challenge was daunting. It would have had to displace a beloved and long-established incumbent -- ''yuppies'' -- describing roughly the same phenomenon. The near miss must have hurt. In his new book, Brooks flings coinage after coinage up against the zeitgeist, hoping that one will stick. Among the more promising contenders are the ''crunchy zone'' (one of his suburban slices), the ''meatloaf line'' (between distant suburbs, where they allegedly don't eat meatloaf, and real rural America, where they do), ''Patio Man'' (from an already famous Brooksian epic about purchasing a barbecue at Home Depot) and ''conquest shopping'' (from the same saga).

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