bubble art is <a thing>

Discussion in 'English Only' started by dhejejjeskms, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. dhejejjeskms Senior Member

    Korean
    Hi, everyone.

    I was reading some comments in a site called Reddit and came across this sentence :

    TIL bubble art is a thing.

    It was a comment in a page about bubble art. It seemed that it may mean bubble art is a fad. Would you explain about it?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Edinburgher Senior Member

    Scotland
    German/English bilingual
  3. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    "TIL bubble art is a thing" has no meaning in itself. Perhaps it had a meaning in the context of the website, which you have given.
     
  4. dhejejjeskms Senior Member

    Korean

    Thank you.
     
  5. dhejejjeskms Senior Member

    Korean
    Thank you.
     
  6. Edinburgher Senior Member

    Scotland
    German/English bilingual
    TIL :cool: that apparently in certain circles TIL is forum-speak for "Today I learned".
     
  7. dhejejjeskms Senior Member

    Korean
    Thank you.
     
  8. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    California
    English - US
  9. dhejejjeskms Senior Member

    Korean
  10. kentix

    kentix Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    You can think of it as being short for "a thing that people do".

    Today I learned that bubble art is a thing (that people do).

    But when you leave off those last three words it makes it more like slang, and it describes something that is somewhat unexpected or new and that other people might not know about yet but that a fair number of people have started doing.

    As an example, eating ice cream is not "a thing" but if a fair number of people started eating ice cream with pickles on it you could then say eating ice cream with pickles is "a thing". (It's new and unexpected.) Whether it's only a fad you won't know until time goes by. If people stop doing it, it was a fad. If everyone starts doing it regularly, it's no longer a thing - it's normal. If a small number of people keep doing it then it might still be "a thing" for a long time.
     
  11. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    For me, "a thing" is quite different in meaning from "the thing."
    Bubble art is a thing = Bubble art actually exists.
    Bubble art is the thing = Bubble art is the latest fad.
     
  12. Glenfarclas Senior Member

    Chicago
    English (American)
    :thumbsup: Exactly. "... is a thing" is a slangy way of saying that something legitimately exists.

    And according to the website isitathing.com, bubble art is not a thing. :)
     
  13. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    Yes, well, they have it wrong. It seems that Bubble Art is an independent producer of cultural content: radio, video, shows, etc. based in Villeurbanne, Lyon. https://www.bubble-art-prod.com/contact.
     
  14. dhejejjeskms Senior Member

    Korean
    Thank you, everyone.
     
  15. Glenfarclas Senior Member

    Chicago
    English (American)
  16. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    No. Well, I'm happy about that.

    But I really don't see the point of that website. It tells me that milk, sand and steel aren't things either. Forget it.
     
  17. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    While a company is a "thing" in the "a noun is a thing" sense, it's not a "thing" in the sense meant by "Baby gender reveal parties are a thing."
     
  18. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    Now you're talking double Dutch. :confused:
     
  19. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    Keith, Myridon's explanation makes perfect sense to me.
    You might want to google "baby gender reveal party."
    "Baby gender reveal parties are a thing" = Baby gender reveal parties actually exist.
    To quote Kentix's excellent explanation in post #10, (A thing) "describes something that is somewhat unexpected or new and that other people might not know about yet but that a fair number of people have started doing" (highlighting mine).
    That is why inserting an existing company's name or a person's name or words such as milk, sand, or steel in the search box on the site isitathing.com will only lead to the result of "NO (, that is not "a thing)." I should add that I just inserted "baby gender reveal parties" in the search box and was told they're not a thing. I then clicked on "Did we get this one wrong? Let us know" and a pop-up box appeared with the following text: "Noted! I guess we're not as smart as we think we are. Thanks!"
    Baby gender reveal parties are somewhat unexpected (by me, at least!) and new, some people don't know about them, but a fair number of people have started having them; they actually exist. Therefore, by definition, they are "a thing." (definitely informal, colloquial, possibly even slang).
     

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