It's that time of year

Pop quiz: this Google Trends chart represents searches for what word or phrase?

i-7b54e1df032b11d565762956e2f6ea85-Picture 3.png

the answer? a word that the vast majority of people never use - except on Thanksgiving.

Go chemistry! :)

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Is the answer Tryptophan?
(Do I get a prize?)

By Alicia Lyman-Holt (not verified) on 22 Nov 2009 #permalink

Is it just me, or is that graph on a slow downward trend?

By Brad Pitcher (not verified) on 22 Nov 2009 #permalink

Indeed, Alicia! Brad, I have no explanation for the downward trend, but an optimist might suggest the American public is gradually learning at least one of its amino acids. :)

By the way, I had another comment on Facebook that this could be the trend for "turkey." It's not; "turkey" also peaks (much lower) at Christmas. I assume that's from novelty-seeking (or lazy) cooks who Google a recipe each time they prepare, or maybe from hosts who didn't cook at Thanksgiving, and need to Google a recipe for Christmas.

The Google trendline shows that "Tryptophan" is definitely ephemeral.

The baseline seems to be on a downward trend, but the Thanksgiving spikes might be on a three-year cycle. Maybe people are using Trytophan less now than five years ago?

Heh. I had guessed "the war on christmas".