Exploring the pathways of our lexicon
April 30, 2009By Ben Zimmer
"Swine flu is the new Susan Boyle of search terms," announces a headline in Australia's The Age. The Scottish singing sensation was last week's news: people are no longer busy conducting online searches for Ms. Boyle (or for her favored expression, gobsmacked). Instead, they're trying to discover anything they can about swine flu, now that health authorities are warning of a possible pandemic. Let's take a look at how the disease got its name. Continue reading...