The following isn’t quite the most emailed New York Times article ever, but I gather this is a draft of a feature that will shortly be appearing.
Trend stories becoming common
by Parke Davis
“ICYMI, Thomas Friedman has a column in the NYTimes again,” said the tweet. “It’s becoming a trend.”
This, like so many other cultural patterns, appears to be mimicking the trend of trend stories in major metropolitan newspapers just like this one.
ICYMI, “ICYMI” means “in case you missed it,” a self-referential observation about the observation’s self-importance. ICYMI is another trend we are following in the paper, to make certain you do not miss any trends.
Trends themselves appear to be trending, apart from the reporting on them, though some experts contacted for this story discounted the trend, arguing that the trend of trends was more a reflection of greater visibility in newspapers just like this one.
“You can’t just declare a trend and believe it exists,” said Paula Worstenberg of New York University. Shortly after we interviewed her for this story, several other people appeared to follow the Worstenberg Discounting Trend in discounting the trend of either trends or the trend they had become a part of.
In the past year, we have followed trends in life expectancy for white men who did not attend college, how people on the street respond to cursing, the creation of Twitter hashtags for weddings, fur skirts and feathers in high fashion, young liberals who like big government, young conservatives sticking with the Republican Party, growing migration to Canada, and either the renewal or the reversal of trends that we had not mentioned in several years and thus had forgotten we had covered in the same breathless style we cover all trends.
What accounts for this trend in trend stories? “Stop asking me stupid questions?!!” said Worstenberg. “I think it is a reasonable response to facts on the ground,” said Thomas Friedman from his office. “The world is getting flatter, which is why trends are easier to spot, especially when your cab driver tells you about them.”
What is certain is that this trend of trend stories is likely to continue, unless it does not, in which case that will be a reversal of a trend that we can write another story about.