Yesterday was National Trivia Day.
Since the idea of organized trivia became a “thing”, it has quickly become a staple of popular culture in the western world. American pop-culture is comprised of the ideas, perspectives, attitudes, images, and other phenomena contained within the mainstream of a given culture, especially the Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the late 20th and early 21st century.*
Pop-culture is basically all of the things within a culture that are deemed popular, the most well liked by the masses at any given time. Pop-culture is largely driven by the media, and in today’s technologically advanced society, social media. How many Facebook posts about Star Wars did you se a couple of weeks ago? That is social media driven pop-culture phenomenon. The entanglement of pop-culture and trivia is long-standing. Always a popular category for trivia games and challenges, pop-culture sits atop the list of popular trivia topics alongside of history, literature and sports (of which many areas can too be considered a part of our pop-culture).
How big a part of our pop-culture is trivia? Well, bars and restaurants have trivia theme nights. Trivia has been the basis for board games and television shows, including America’s long-standing iconic game show institution, Jeopardy. And if you’re looking for trivia on the go, well yes, there’s an app for that.
So how did our trivia obsession begin? Although the origin of the word trivia, loosely meaning “three roads” can be dated back to ancient Rome, its modern-day practical application appears to surface around the turn of the 20th century in the title of a popular book by British aphorist Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946). First published in 1902, it consisted of short essays often tied to observations of small things and commonplace moments.
Later at Columbia University, Ed Goodgold and Dan Carlinsky, started the first organized “trivia contests”. Later, their book Trivia (Dell, 1966) achieved a ranking on the New York Times best seller list. The book was based on the student formed and run trivia contests at Columbia.
In 1992, with the advent of the board game Trivial Pursuit, our inclusion of trivia as an irrevocable part of our lives came to be. Today, trivia bowls and tournaments not only include pop-culture references in their repertoire, but trivia itself has become an ingrained part of pop-culture.
We’re celebrating trivia and pop-culture this week by posting trivia questions and answers on our Facebook page. Think you’ve got what it takes to be the first to answer correctly? Come on by and see.
*Excerpt taken from Wikipedia