I know I live in a cave, so I'm probably the only one who doesn't know it, but that phrase conveys nothing useful to me. What does it mean?
Something that's "trending" just means it's experiencing a rise is occurrence frequency or popularity. Imagine a line chart with a steadily rising line as it proceeds to the right.
Also, think of a "trendy" fashion - it's suddenly popular. So, a "trending question" is one that's suddenly being asked a lot, like search queries that Google defaults to when giving you suggestions to complete an incomplete search query.
If you're a man, does that make you a caveman?
So – since my question shows up under Trending Questions, does that mean it's being asked a lot, or merely that I asked it? I guess where I'm going with this is: Is "trending question" just a trendy term with a rather vague meaning, and the forum update is trying to make it look, well, trendy?
How about cavedweller?
According to the Oxford dictionary the intransitive verb to trend means to bend or turn away in a specified direction, show a certain tendency.
Could a trending question therefore be something like a leading question; a question that is asked in such a way as to beg a trended answer?
Quite frankly I think a trending question is gobbeldegook invented by someone who hasn't got sufficient grasp of plain English to be able to express himself clearly and concisely. Something we can all do without.
"Dude, your question is so cool - I'm totes posting it to my tumblr." Trending.
Seems like Jive had fixed a few of the problems we all had with the forums so they had to add a few new broken features so they had something to look forward to doing for their next paycheck.
Here (post #93 in the thread),
is the answer by a sinister insider:
"Trending Questions" is newspeak for "Recent Activity", though not everything that trends is actually a question. You can tell by the color of the speech-bubbble icon.
Further to current senses (1933) according to the OED (the big one), in the figurative sense 4b), to trend is:
And the verbal substantive Trending sense 2):
And there is also sense 1b):
The last one may be most accurate: the expression seems to be rather woolly.