bubble art is <a thing>

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.
 
  • dhejejjeskms

    Senior Member
    Korean

    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.
     

    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.
     

    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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