Zeitgeist is a German term that means “spirit of the time.” It is commonly used to illustrate the trends and characteristics of a period or generation. Google, for instance, releases monthly and annual reports with the most popular search queries, and they call those reports Google Zeitgeist.
“In France and Germany the cultural zeitgeist seems to be moving towards healthier lifestyles and away from alcohol consumption,” said Hanna Kivimaki, a senior consumer analyst at Mintel. (Telegraph.co.uk)
The era’s scribbling classes promptly realized that to praise the dead consort was to celebrate the living one, and duly spilled copious amounts of ink in lauding Marie Antoinette’s hyper-decorated, rococo femininity — so fundamental to the Eugénie persona — as a prime cultural virtue. Once again, the queen’s posthumous rehabilitation both reflected and shaped the zeitgeist. (NY Times)