Saturday, January 7, 2012

While RYS Didn't Originate "Snowflake" (Was it Fight Club?), Many Claim They Popularized It. Recovering Academic Sends This List In.

I got turned on to RYS about the time I landed a tt position. Always found reading the posts cathartic . . . much like my evening bourbons. I’m out of teaching now, but have continued to read the CM posts to remind myself how much my life used to suck.

But anyway . . . I always wondered how “snowflake” came into the lexicon. So I did some research. Going back to the still-posted RYS entries, I started at the bottom and read every remaining post (at least up until September 2008). Here’s what I found. The very first mention of “snowflake” occurs on:

The Student Advocate Advocates a Bit for Herself (11 JAN 2008)

That’s right! We are approaching the 4th anniversary of “snowflake." Here are some other early examples:


  1. Some other early "snowflake" references / descriptions include this December 2007 piece.

    Another December 07 reference.

    Another early snowflake reference is in a November 2007 academic haiku.

    Even further back is this October 07 memo.

  2. I found a quote online from Fight Club (the movie - 1999).

    "Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else."

    The book was published in 1996 but I haven't read it so I don't know if the book used 'snowflake' before the movie did.

  3. This site says it was used in chapter 17 in the book, identical, or nearly so, words.

  4. Yeah, but not in reference to college students, of course. I did like the movie better than the book - a very odd occurrence.

    Like them or not, snowflake students are an ever-present evil.

    Anyone who starts a sentence with, "But my high school teacher said..." is probably a snowflake.


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