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The Boston Globe


The word

“Boston Strong,” the phrase that rallied a city

How’d we find a unifying phrase so fast? It’s been evolving for years.

‘Boston Strong.” The two-word motto has been everywhere in Boston since the Marathon bombings a month ago, a handy shorthand for defiance, solidarity, and caring. In its ubiquity, “Boston Strong” presents a united front in the face of threat.

As a verbal meme, “Boston Strong” spread so quickly that it felt like a blooming organic force. Almost instantly, it adorned countless T-shirts, hats, and ribbons. MBTA buses began flashing it on their LED signs, and a state legislator proposed putting it on a special license plate to raise funds for victims. When a benefit concert headlined by Aerosmith was announced for later this month, “Boston Strong” was the obvious name.

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