30 Oct /14


What is trending today? Trending words and styles promoted by trending celebrities, along with figures about what is in and hashtags on social media are impacting some of our lives, leading us towards perfect conformity with trends.

What would life be like without knowing which band is trendy to listen to or which superstar to follow, or what are the super new fashions, destinations or restaurants to dine at?

But it took a very long time from the word trending to mean mainstream. And this is due to a misunderstanding of the original meaning of the verb “to trend” as meaning “to become a trend.”

The story of the word as something fashionably popular started in England at the end of the 16th century. Then it meant something very literal, the way in which a river moved in a specific direction. The Volga is described as coming from the north of Bulgaria “and trending along southward”. This was in Richard Hakluyt’s travelogue. As a book it was hot, because when it was printed in 1598 anything about travel written in English was grabbed by anyone who could read. So it is clear that The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffic and Discoveries of the English Nation was a real trending publication.

The path of a river flowing gave rise to the first figurative use of the term as moving in a general direction. This was way back in 1863. From then it took a whole century until trending got managed to reinvent itself to describe new ideas in popular culture, with the rise in the 1960s of the adjective “trendy”. And trendy really got going when in 1965 the BBC released a film on Debussy with a screen credit ”Art Nouveau Consultant”. The Sun complained as it often does with “This is trying to be trendy: what’s wrong with art-adviser?”

What is wrong with not following the trends and how trending will our word of the day trending become? Google trending search topics, Google Trends, might help us find out more. This will help us become more streamlined, more trending, less individual. Do you want to be trending?