Trending: ‘gravata,’ ‘gravitas’

Lookups spiked 2,600% on October 7, 2020

Why are people looking up the words gravata and gravitas?

Gravitas and gravata both spiked in lookups on October 7th, during the debate between vice-presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Mike Pence.

What do the words gravata and gravitas mean?

Gravitas is defined as “high seriousness (as in a person's bearing or in the treatment of a subject).” The word comes directly from Latin, in which language it carried similar meaning.

Gravata may seem initially to be an odd word to have spiked in lookups during a political debate, as it is defined as “a tough resistant cordage fiber obtained from the leaves of a South American bromeliad (Ananas sagenaria) that is closely related to the cultivated pineapple.” However, we have seen time and again that words which are similar in pronunciation or orthography will often share spikes in lookups, regardless of whether they are semantically apt.

Trend Watch is a data-driven report on words people are looking up at much higher search rates than normal. While most trends can be traced back to the news or popular culture, our focus is on the lookup data rather than the events themselves.

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