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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Did You Get the Meme, Oh!

Origin of a meme



Here a meme, there a meme, everywhere a meme, meme.  Old MacDonald had a what???  E-I-E-I-Oh, my!

I see this word everywhere I turn lately.  Whilst I’m daydreaming along with Pinterest, it’s there.  As I play with my cohorts on Fridays, it’s there again.  Facebook, even, provides no escape from the word.

I do not consider myself an early adopter, or even one to comprehend early new words that creep into our lexicon.  It is because of my deep love but shallow understanding of linguistics that I try to develop a full morphology of a word before using it in public.  My inner Henry Higgins comes alive and I want to dig down to the roots before transplanting anything into my vocabulary.

This has been a tough nut for me to crack and feel confident with employing “meme”.  I have a vague sense of its usage, and a more vague sense of the actual meaning.   At this point I must do my research.

Let’s begin with the pronunciation.  By my title you can clearly see that I assumed it rhymed with the first syllable of memo. I do hope you got my play on words and that it didn’t fall flat.  Unfortunately, this is incorrect.  Meme, sounds like meem, which rhymes with dream.  Knowing how to say a word is a good start.

Encarta English dictionary gives this definition:   any characteristic of a culture, e.g. its language, that can be transmitted from one generation to the next in a way analogous to the transmission of genetic information.

The all-knowing Wikipedia offers:  an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. [2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.

Huh?
  
At the end of my post here, I’m developing a more developed definition.  What I want is a simple definition.  Can you help me out?  I’d love to hear your definition.  How do you use this word?  Do you understand it, or are you as puzzled as I am?  Is blogging the new meme to spread cultural information?

Heeelp!!!  J

I have linked to the source of the photo, but was unable to determine the creator of it.

16 comments:

  1. I've been pronouncing it wrong in my head all this time... and I had no idea what it meant... sorry I'm no help! :)

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    1. Keep checkinig back, maybe someone can help us both out. Haha!

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  2. Comment working, and I've never heard of meme. Thanks for the introduction!

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    1. I see this popping up everywhere. Now see how often you notice it. Now we need an introduction, it will be sad if it doesn't happen until PA. So close, yet so far. :)

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  3. commenting and I learned something new today! Love that about your blog. I always leave smarter!

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    1. You make me feel like the University of Pheonix - your source for online education. ;)Exactly how much smarter can one person get anyway?/ (Just over one month!!!)

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  4. It took me the longest time to learn what a meme was!

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    1. Can you add anything? I still don't fully get it.

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  5. well that makes two of us or more! I'm clueless as well!

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    1. This seems to be one of those things you either knew what it was or didn't have any idea. I wonder how long until this is a common part of our lexicon.

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  6. :0)...Jeff Goins sent out an email on meme a little while ago. I think it is just what you have posted here :0). As far as how it applies to "us" bloggers?? Got me. I am not a huge fan of wiki-anything, but here is a link to a definition of "internet meme". Basically, thoughts, ideas, concepts, "challenges", etc. that go viral are memes...would that have an apostrophe "S"...got me :0). I have a better picture of it after reading this article...HTH
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_meme

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    1. Thanks, I'm slowly starting to get it, I think. :)

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  7. Blog is looking good again! That was weird, but I am very happy to see it back to normal. And great post, by the way! Very informative. I was pronouncing it me-me which I know is very self-centered. Glad to hear that I was WRONG. :)

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