Time’s up for this phrase

John McIntyre, blogger at You Don’t Say, recently listed leads to avoid. Pam Robinson at Words at Work offered a collection of “not alone” sentences.

I’d like to add another to the list of worn-out phrases: references to “15 minutes of fame.” Andy Warhol’s famous statement, uttered in 1968, lives on even though the artist himself has been dead for more than 20 years.

Here are some recent examples:

  • Susan Boyle’s 15 minutes of fame aren’t over! (Irish Central headline)
  • Tweeters melt away after 15 minutes of fame (Times Online headline)
  • For some, even 15 minutes would be too long (USA Today headline)
  • Everyone is getting their own 15 dizzy minutes, but now it comes mostly with a full-frontal paparazzi assault. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports column)
  • Andy Warhol was spot on: 15 minutes is just right. After that they start to visibly deflate. (The Guardian story)
  • The thought of making a killing while she was still in her Andy Warhol “15 minutes” was too much for her and Todd to pass up. (Talking Points Memo blog post)
  • If it’s true, as Andy Warhol suggested, that we’ll all have 15 minutes of fame, I’ve got 13 minutes left. (The Polk County Democrat column)

Warhol himself became bored with the phrase. Imagine how readers feel. Let’s retire “15 minutes of fame,” and let Andy rest in peace.