I think I became aware of the word trending a few years ago, whenever it began to creep outside of Twitter, as I’ve only recently started to dip my toes in the water of the Twittersphere. My first thought was that the word seemed to mean popular, but that there must be some more specific meaning to it. In time, I told myself, that meaning would become clear.
Happy Birthday Hashtag.
The symbol’s now been in use for ten years on Twitter. It’s changed the way we communicate online a lot, allowing us to condense complex messages into simple phrases, and has now spread beyond Twitter. It only took me about nine of those ten years to figure out how to use them. And even now I’m not entirely convinced I’m doing it right.
What do you do?
That used to be an easy question: a simple icebreaker when meeting new people. Now though, it’s more complicated.
First of all, since the economic crisis, people are understandably wary about asking the question, as we’re more aware of the fact that the answer might be nothing.
Second, for a lot of people who do have something that they do, it can be a hard to specify exactly what it is.
I want to take a little break from looking at language for this evening. Actually, I had tried to write something about language. I tried to write the post I’d mentioned yesterday: I wanted to start with the word English, and then let my phone choose which words would follow. I was hoping for some mad Dadaist poem, but was somewhat disappointed it was just recreating whole sentences from my blog or from emails. But then, having a look at my blog dashboard, and looking at other blogs, I decided to write about what I like about blogging. And when I started thinking about it, I realised I could write a lot, so I decided to focus on one aspect of the blogging experience: the statistics.
I was thinking today about the books I’ve bought but have yet to read, and about how to describe those books. My instinct was to refer to them as my to-do list, but then I decided that that didn’t really work, because they’re not a list. This is the point where most people would stop thinking about it, because it wasn’t even part of a conversation anyway. Nevertheless, I persisted, and thought about the word inbox as a possibility. Yes, that made sense. I get them, put them in the imaginary inbox until I take one, read it, and then transfer it to my imaginary outbox. Good, so the pile of books beside my bed (and the others in the other room: there are a lot of them) is my inbox. Not that I stopped thinking there though.