"Having A Moment" Is Having A Moment

by BILLY GRAY · April 13, 2010

    Linguistic trend alert! "Having a moment," the saying used to denote something, someone or someplace fashionable and trendy, has become fashionable and trendy itself. Maybe even excessively so.

    Check out the results of my vaguely scientific study! The numbers come from plugging "having a moment" into various media search engines. I extrapolated 2010 figures from the number of mentions in the first three months of the year.

    The Voice's search engine was down, the Observer returned zilch and the New Yorker has been dropping the phrase about once a year.

    Digging into the findings we can see who and what, exactly, are having moments:

    Resurgent old white women like Betty White (two "having a moment" mentions on Gawker in as many weeks) and Patti Smith (on this website).

    Gay men like Christian Siriano (his reality show called Having A Moment accounted for three Post mentions alone, but did not skew results in the other sources) and, along those lines, a Gawker headline declaring that "TV's Gay Teens Are Having A Moment."

    Music white people like: MGMT and  the "raw side" of country music (both per the Times).

    To be fair, the old internet archives are often better at turning up new data. And outlets like the Times and New York have boosted their online presence over the years, adding constantly refreshed blogs that would make any popular turn of phrase more abundant.

    As for the emphasis on old women, this is the Age of the Cougar. Gay men? It's New York! And white people, well, the catchphrase is a little too dorky to be used by anyone else.

    Still though, meta tipping point reached, is having a moment primed to jump the shark?