Well, the article was not about Hemingway, in toto, defining anything; it’s about how much the phrase “gradually and then suddenly” is being used these days.
The phrase is from The Sun Also Rises:
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.
“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”
But then I worried that maybe I was one of the people turning this phrase into a cliche. I was definitely aware of the phrase (I’ve read the book several times), and I was fairly sure I’d used it somewhere.
But, fortunately, a couple of quick searches produced no relevant results. Whew.
Once again, I have my finger far from the pulse.