If you think some other decade can best the 60s in the fad category, make your case. But more generally, what do we think about fads? I was thinking that a certain type of fad — hula hoops — is a nice pop culture pastime. And then there is the labeling question: When does something stop being a fad? People use the word "fad" to put down something someone else thinks is important. Is blogging a fad? You might irritate some people by calling their pet concern a "fad": Worrying about the debt ceiling is a fad. Is there a time limit? Some new religion — Scientology — might be called a fad, but if you say "Christianity is a fad," people will know you are trying too hard to be provocative and — if they're smart — yawn.
Where did the word "fad" come from?
1834, "hobby, pet project;" 1881 as "fashion, craze," perhaps shortened from fiddle-faddle. Or perhaps from Fr. fadaise "trifle, nonsense," ultimately from L. fatuus "stupid."Which reminds me: Fiddle Faddle is... a 60s fad! An even bigger popcorn-based 60s fad was Screaming Yellow Zonkers:
While the front of the package was simple and understated, the rest of the Zonkers box was completely covered with absurdist copy, accompanied by illustrations, informing the reader everything from “how to wash Zonkers” to “how to mate them”. The bottom of the box explained how to determine if it were indeed the bottom: “Open the top, and turn the box upside down. If the Zonkers fall out, this is the bottom. If they fall up, this is the top. If nothing happens, this box is empty.”That was hilarious in the 60s, when smoking marijuana was also a fad.