What is a Meme?

Posted February 24, 2010 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Culture / 0 Comments

The term meme has been closely associated with internet catchphrases or fads, but originally it was more a postulated unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices. The word was coined by British scientist Richard Dawkins who used the word in his book The Selfish Gene (1976) as a basis for discussion of evolutionary principles.

The word only recently was added to the dictionary with the following meaning;

Meme –noun
a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.

Examples of memes included melodies, catch-phrases, beliefs (notably religious beliefs), clothing fashion, and inside jokes.

Internet Meme’s include things like Fail/Win, Pwnd/Owned, Nom Nom Nom, O RLY?, All Your Base Are Belong to Us & Rickroll.

For interesting insights on Meme’s check out this site.

0 responses to “What is a Meme?

  1. Wow, I guess I’m out of touch. I’ve never even heard of most of the stuff on that page! I kind of like the “tl;dr”, though. I’ve seen some blogs that I would have liked to use that on 😉

    • hahaha I think there is a lot of entries that I would put “tl;dr” to. That is why I try to make entries short. I mean you can expend on things later anyway. NO need to have your readers lose interest.

  2. It’s one thing to go into something in enough depth to make your point, but some of these stream-of-consciousness type blogs that go on for what might be 10 printed pages… I’m gone after page 2 😉

  3. Oh, I haven’t been to problogger for awhile. That’s interesting, I’ll have to keep that in mind. I’m sure I’ve gone over 1000 words but probably not very often. My posts are rarely thought out much more than 30 minutes before I post them, so not a lot of time to drone on about anything 😉

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