Friend of the trendless

Do you know what’s trending? The word trend as a verb, for one.

Trend as a verb has been around a long time, but its use was always narrow. Data points trend upward, for example. As best I’ve observed, the verb trend is usually followed by an adverb or other modifier.

Lately, everyone’s talking trending, which I fear went out as soon as it came in. Or should anyway. I know, I know, it’s on Twitter, it’s on the news, it’s on the radio, it’s PR-speak. The Today show has introduced a daily feature, accompanied by the most annoying techno music, called “What’s trending Today?” At the risk of sounding like Andy Rooney, this bugs me. I suspect I’m a party of one.

This doesn’t mean I don’t notice trends. One hit me between the eyes this week. Three times in 36 hours, in fact. Does that ever happen to you? Never heard of something and within a day it’s everywhere?

What’s trending? Pisco. First I read about Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan enjoying a Pisco Sour at a local establishment; then twice more, someone or other was noticed to be sipping it; I think one might have been Justice Antonin Scalia. I’ve read that, as trending goes, Pisco could be the new Mojito. Or for D.C. foodies, the new Mumbo Sauce.

According to PR Web, Pisco consumption in the United States increased 101 percent in 2010. Whether or not that’s a legitimate trend would depend on what it was in 2009, or 2008. I was always taught that a trend is at least three data points.

I haven’t tried this Peruvian potion, Pisco. Heck, I’m not sure I even know what it is. One source I consulted says it’s a brandy while another calls it a spirit. We have a knowledgeable guy at our local liquor store, but I’m afraid that if I went in asking about Pisco, he’d laugh, sigh, roll his eyes or all three.

If he did, I’d know it’s already trended.

In a piece on Monday, Slate cautioned us to not hate Pisco because it’s fashionable.

I don’t think I’ll be serving up piscopolitans any time soon.


Filed under All Things Wordish, Food, Marketing/Advertising/PR, News, Technology and Social Media

8 responses to “Friend of the trendless

  1. chris

    Let’s see what the top five trending “fails” of 2011 are. Let’s hope “fail” as a noun is one of them.

  2. chris

    Piscopalians — whenever two or more are gathered, there is always a fifth.

    Pisco — what stuffy Anglicans drink to get shit faced.

  3. Sheree

    Just want to say to you, and your readers with their witty remarks, thank you for starting so many mornings with a giggle!

  4. Jo Turner

    Piscopalitans — oh my! Makes me want to head to the liquor store and start working on the recipe! Might a contest be in order here?
    (I had the same reaction to the pisco wave and just looked it up yesterday.)

  5. I think what’s trending now are old women who are clueless and never heard of trending, trend used as a verb, or Pisco. That would be me. Loved it!

  6. Word Nymph

    One reason I hesitate is that I don’t want to drink anything that begins with pis, or anything that rhymes with Crisco. But Jo, let me know what you’ve concocted and I’ll come over and inspect.

  7. Among my own readers, we can remember when “Impact”, “contact”, “message”, and “stress” were just simple nouns.

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