If you’ve been around in the last, I don’t know, decade? you’ve heard the word “snowflake” as an insult. Lately, it’s come to mean someone who’s too sensitive, takes things too seriously, can’t hear an opposing opinion without flipping their lid. But where did the term come from? Apparently, from Chuck Palahniuk. But don’t take my word for it, take Chuck’s:
The phone rang at four a.m. It was the Times in London.
A reporter told me that the Oxford English Dictionary had noted a resurgence of people using the word “snowflake.” Snowflake had become a synonym for being overly sensitive, and it was being lobbed like a hand grenade between political opponents. The reporter told me that Wikipedia attributed the source of the insult to me, to my novel Fight Club. Specifically to the speech which begins: “You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake…” The reporter asked if that was true. Had I coined the latest put-down?
I didn’t know. It was four in the morning for fuck’s sake. I said, maybe. I said my guess was that the book and film might’ve started it.
Unable to fall asleep, I checked Wikipedia. At the moment, it said the term was tenuously attributed to Fight Club.
Two hours after I’d spoken with the reporter, Wikipedia had been revised. Around six a.m. it now said that I claimed full responsibility for the term snowflake in its current usage.
To set the record straight, I got blindsided.
So maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but according to the author “his use of the term ‘snowflake’ never had anything to do with fragility or sensitivity. It just meant that I wasn’t going to be dismissed as just another mass-produced ‘genius.'”
Featured Image Via The Talks, (snow from YouTube.)