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Trending bangs

A phrase which increasingly annoys me, the more it is used, is "bang on trend". Worse was the most recent version which arrived in my inbox: "BANG on trend".

It has been used more and more in recent months, exclusively, in my limited and passive sampling, by people in Britain. So just now, I asked Google Timeline to tell me how long it had been around as a phrase. It felt very new to me, but first impressions can be wrong.

Ignoring the clearly-misdated outliers, Google starts recording instances of it from April 2006, when it's used to describe retail products, the UK economy, and jackets. (Example: Dolmio launches new product for kids.) In June 2006, a book reviewer for The Guardian used it.

I wonder where it came from. What happened in the spring of 2006 to bring this to journalists' attention? Was it a television show? A speech somewhere? Wherever it came from, I am resigned to seeing more and more of this phrase for at least a few more years.


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:01 am (UTC)
Surely it is not a new coining, it is just conflating "bang on" (exactly to the measure required) and "on trend" (in the current trend). I guess the second is to some extent a neologism but not a very new one.
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:04 am (UTC)
Obvious, and makes perfect sense (I can't say I spent a great deal of time thinking about this), but why do you think the conflation must be older?
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:07 am (UTC)
I agree with steer; phrases like "bang on target" or "bang on time" I recall (with limited accuracy viz. human memory) have been around since some time before 2006.
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
They are not the same phrases though.

Time and targets are things which, historically, have regularly involved bangs (at least of the cannon or handgun variety). Trends are not.
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:38 am (UTC)
True, but "band on trend" is obviously a reworking of those phrases, which makes me suspect "bang on trend" is just part of an ongoing pattern in which "bang on" is prefixed to the topic at hand (time, trends, targets, etc) to indicate precisely correct/apposite. Should "bang on trend" be regarded as a new phenomenon or as part of an existing one?
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:46 am (UTC)
It's a new phrase which has been derived based on existing variations.

There are lots of phrases which begin with "on" and which could have precision added to them which do not use "bang" (so far as I know).
- bang on the wagon
- bang on an airplane
- bang on his mind
- bang on guard

That this particular phrase exists, and has come into use - so far as superficial initial search shows - just within the last few years, is an interesting development.

Edited at 2010-11-19 10:46 am (UTC)
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:50 am (UTC)
The more I think about this, the more I am finding "bang on foot" and "bang on fire" to be pretty funny. Not that being on fire is funny, but it's okay if you're a log.
Nov. 19th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
I love "bang on his mind" and now want to use it always.
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:50 am (UTC)
Sorry, I'm not sure I understand your question. I was just pointing out that it doesn't sound like a new phrase but just two existing old phrases -- which I guess is why I would not have thought anything at all odd about the phrase until you pointed it out.
Nov. 19th, 2010 11:20 am (UTC)
When you wrote "Surely it is not a new coining", I assumed that you were specifically arguing that the phrase has been around for long - perhaps much longer - than the initial superficial evidence I had gathered would reflect.

I was wondering why you thought the specific phrase "bang on trend" was older than the last couple of years.

I agree that it's a combination of existing phrases, which you identified, but lots of phrases exist which have never (or rarely) been combined before, so I still find it of note when they become increasingly mainstream.
Nov. 19th, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
Ah... fair enough.
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:03 am (UTC)
I blame Gok Wan, he uses it a lot.
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:06 am (UTC)
I like having someone to blame, especially for trendy phrases. He may be helping with its current popularity, but I wonder how long ago he started using the phrase?
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:18 am (UTC)
I like having someone to blame
Not watching very much television these days, I have only the haziest idea who Gok Wan is. But from what little I know, he sounds like someone who deserves blaming.
Nov. 19th, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
It feels like a Jamie Oliver
Nov. 19th, 2010 01:21 pm (UTC)
Although Jamie is my new hero so I've been paying a lot of attention, and my children mock me for it -- he doesn't refer to the fashionability of the things he cooks.
Nov. 19th, 2010 11:10 am (UTC)
Not really a help to you, but I'm intrigued - what is a google timeline search and how do I perform one?
Nov. 19th, 2010 11:17 am (UTC)
Search for something in Google.
On the left-hand column, there's a drop-down for More Search Tools.
Under Standard view, there are other options - the fourth one is Timeline.
You can click on decades in the timeline to show them in greater detail.

Note that Timeline relies on dating within the documents it searches, which is why it will sometimes tell you a document reflects something it does not. I find this particularly charming when it's a BC date!
Nov. 19th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks, interesting!
Nov. 19th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
I associate it with American TV shows like America's Next Top Model and Project Runway - fashion things. Haven't really noticed it in British media. But tehm, it doesn't bother me so much.
Nov. 19th, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)
Of Hoofs and Flies
User steepholm referenced to your post from Of Hoofs and Flies saying: [...] I see that is letting off steam about the sudden ubiquity of the phrase "bang on trend" [...]
Nov. 19th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
I strongly dislike the phrase 'on trend'. A coworker used it to compliment (I think) the colour of a shirt I was wearing, but it felt quite hollow to me, in that I don't feel being trendy is praiseworthy. 'Bang on trend' is a new variation to me, but one I can easily imagine Gok Wan using.

Just out of curiosity, on any of your visits to eastern North America in the last couple years, have you seen or heard the phrase 'waiting on line' used, and if so, where and in what context. It's another one that annoys me and makes me wonder where it came from.
Nov. 19th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
I have a fuzzy impression that I have seen discussions of 'waiting on line' vs. 'waiting in line' as regional variants. I'm not sure I have encountered it off of the internet.
Nov. 20th, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)
To be "on line" rather than "in line" is a respectable, venerable New York expression. We've always said it that way, as far as I know. By "always," I mean at least since the 1950s, because I got it from my mother, and that's when she was growing up.
Nov. 21st, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
That's interesting, because the New York Times was the first place I encountered that phrase. About 3 years ago. Perhaps I hadn't been paying attention before that, but I'd never heard it when I lived briefly in New York or visited after.
Nov. 20th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC)
The one I can't stand is to "take a decision" What is that? Ever since I was a little girl, as far as I understood, decisions were to be made, not taken. Then, in 2004 or 2005, boom! People were "taking" decisions left, right, and center.
Nov. 20th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Ooh, interesting. Does "take a decision" actually feel wrong to you, ungrammatical, or is it just not the phrase you're used to? (Me, I feel that I grew up with both, but they have different implications: left to your own devices, you take a decision in your own good time; but when somebody else is being dilatory, you wish they'd bloody pull themselves together and make a decision...)
Nov. 21st, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
"Take a decision" feels wrong to me to the point of sounding nonsensical--I can't even imagine how it means what it's supposed to mean. Rationally, I can understand that that's because I never heard it before I was, oh, 28 or so, but it sounds so wrong to me that I could never, ever use it.
May. 1st, 2013 03:42 am (UTC)
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( 29 comments — Leave a comment )