Tag Archives: “trend” as a verb

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

Winning words

Somehow I missed the news splash—perhaps you did too—but last Friday, the American Dialect Society announced its 2010 Word of the Year: “app.”

Apparently, the Word of the Year doesn’t have to be a new word, nor does it have to be a single word; it can be a phrase. It does have to be newly prominent or notable in the past year, much like Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

The Society wants to assure us that, in voting in these words or phrases, its linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, authors, editors, professors, university students and independent scholars are not inducting new words into the English language. Its announcement states that they are simply highlighting the fact that changes in language are normal, ongoing and entertaining.

“App” beat out runners up “trend” as a verb, “junk,” “Wikileaks” as a proper noun and one I hadn’t heard: “nom,” an onomatopoetic word connoting eating, especially pleasurably.

There was a category for most useful words, my favorite of which was “fatfinger,” a verb meaning to make typos by hitting two keys with one finger on a keypad.

There was a list of words that dominated events, such as “vuvuzela,” as well as portmanteaus that emerged from cultural phenomena–including “Gleek,” “Twihard” and “Belieber.” “Enhanced pat-down” ranked in the top four in the Most Euphemistic category.

The Society also voted on the 2010 Name of the Year: Who could forget “Eyafjalljökul?”

Read more about it and, if there are words you believe the Dialect Society overlooked, feel free to send them as comments to Word Nymph and we’ll confer our own award.


Filed under All Things Wordish, Marketing/Advertising/PR, Movies, Television and Radio