"Peak X" abides

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Following up on "Peak X", 10/14/2008, O.C. sends in a link to "Twitter (Finally) Invents Revenue Stream", Marketing Vox 5/5/2014 (emphasis added):

In an honest-to-goodness innovation, Twitter has constructed a mechanism by which people can add items to their Amazon shopping carts by tweeting in response to things such as revenue-raising advertisements. There may be hope yet that even with Peak Twitter talk afoot, a serious revenue stream could launch the firms revenues to heights commensurate to the firms self-perceived importance.

I haven't been seeing a lot of "peak X" action over the past few years.

But maybe I just haven't been paying attention. There was "peak Facebook", "peak banana", "peak Rob Ford", and even "peak punctuation" — though "peak Chris Christie" didn't get the play you might think it deserved.

Among similar constructions, "maximum X" and "minimum X" are common — but there's no "valley X" or "trough X" corresponding to "peak X".

For some substantive background on the "peak twitter" talk, see "The last txt, the last tweet", 5/3/2014.



  1. Ben Artin said,

    May 12, 2014 @ 12:47 am

    Maybe we have reached peak peak.

  2. Doreen said,

    May 12, 2014 @ 1:21 am

    The (UK) Guardian has mused on "peak beard":
    Have we reached peak beard? 24 July 2013
    Fashion-conscious men warned we may have reached 'peak beard' 16 April 2014

  3. John Coleman said,

    May 12, 2014 @ 1:48 am

    "Peak stuff" (economics writer Chris Goodall's 2011 label for the phenomenon of material consumption starting to decline in the UK, despite affluence):


  4. Doreen said,

    May 12, 2014 @ 5:05 am

    (for some reason my previous comment fell foul of the spam filter. I'll give it another try…)
    The Guardian has discussed "peak beard" on more than one occasion:

  5. tuncay said,

    May 12, 2014 @ 10:18 am

    I think as concerns and discussion over global warming, and fossil fuel vs renewable energy increase, the term "peak oil" is dissipating faster, which leads to more and more "peak X" analogies..

  6. bks said,

    May 12, 2014 @ 11:11 am

    Can peak viral be far away? –bks

  7. Steven said,

    May 12, 2014 @ 11:16 am

    Just today, salon.com used 'Peak GOP “Voter Fraud” Fraud' as a section-header, at: http://www.salon.com/2014/05/12/gop_vote_scheme_finally_imploding_why_the_end_may_be_here/

  8. Brett said,

    May 12, 2014 @ 2:43 pm

    "Peak viral" sounds very medical to me. I think that's because viral load is something relatively easily quantifiable, whereas I don't know what measures are used to assess the level of viral activity of Web videos.

  9. Rubrick said,

    May 12, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

    According to the Google Ngram Viewer, we reached peak peak around 1982. Peak pique, on the other hand, seems to have occurred way back in the early 1800s.

  10. the other Mark P said,

    May 13, 2014 @ 5:12 am

    I think as concerns and discussion over global warming, and fossil fuel vs renewable energy increase, the term "peak oil" is dissipating faster, which leads to more and more "peak X" analogies..

    I'm guessing you're not very old. Every year of my adult life, and I'm 50, I've heard frets about "peak oil", yet reserves remain the same at 40 more years worth left.

    My impression is that few, other than the young who haven't had time to see its threats disappear, really believe it anymore. "Peak Oil" as a scare passed its peak a long time ago. It really was the big worry around the 70's oil shock, but never really recovered.

    I presume however that "Peak Oil" was the phrase that started the whole peak meme thing.

  11. Martin J Ball said,

    May 13, 2014 @ 7:41 am

    The original article seems to have passed peak apostrophe for possessives, at any rate ….

  12. Stan Carey said,

    May 13, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

    In the space of 24 hours last week I saw peak Eurovision, peak Franco, peak fad, peak beard, peak pique, and peak fear. Feels like we're heading for peak "peak X".

    Michael Rundell wrote about this formula at Macmillan Dictionary Blog last month.

  13. Terry Collmann said,

    May 13, 2014 @ 3:19 pm

    I'd take a quick look at that, Stan, but I've passed "peak peek".

  14. Smut Clyde said,

    May 13, 2014 @ 8:01 pm

    but I've passed "peak peek".
    I was annoyed but I have passed peak pique.

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