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The Roots And Reasoning Behind 'Boston Strong'13:28
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The phrase "Boston Strong" was one of the first rallying cries in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. T-shirts, posters and stickers were produced in a matter of hours after the events on April 15. (flickr/ craig a michaud)
The phrase "Boston Strong" was one of the first rallying cries in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. T-shirts, posters and stickers were produced in a matter of hours after the events on April 15. (flickr/ craig a michaud)

In the wake of the Boston marathon bombings, two words have become famously associated with the city's response: "Boston Strong."  You see it and hear it everywhere — and it's become a handy short-hand for defiance, solidarity and caring. But where does this verbal branding come from and what makes it so powerful?

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Ben Zimmer, executive producer of Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com and the language columnist for The Boston Globe.

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The Boston Globe, "As a verbal meme, “Boston Strong” spread so quickly that it felt like a blooming organic force."

This segment aired on May 16, 2013.

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