meme

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William Hupy
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meme

Postby William Hupy » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:59 pm

I show this word as having been adopted into English in 1976. I do not know how or why, just when.
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Re: meme

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:39 pm

This should answer it for you:


meme (n.)
1976, introduced by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in "The Selfish Gene," coined by him from Greek sources, e.g. mimeisthai "to imitate" (see mime), and intended to echo gene.
We need a name for the new replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. 'Mimeme' comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like 'gene'. I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme. If it is any consolation, it could alternatively be thought of as being related to 'memory', or to the French word même. It should be pronounced to rhyme with 'cream'. [Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene," 1976]
From OED, etym, not Eng.
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Re: meme

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:32 pm

After reading an article from Quartz today, I entered the word "meme" in the Alpha search and found a series of articles including the above post by me two years ago. So this comment is to bring it back to the top and add this current article that includes and explains my comments. I'd also recommend entering the Alpha Dictionary word search to read a half a dozen more comments. The word is spreading and becoming an internet meme before our eyes.

http://nautil.us/issue/23/dominoes/the-meme-as-meme-rp
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Re: meme

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:29 pm

Bringing this thread to the top again, as I'm not sure folks agree on itd meaning. One definition gives Christian baptism as an example, which seems to fit the definition, as would Black Friday or the NFL draft. But the most common use I see refers to a cartoon or a quote, almost synonymous with "clip." Tell us your understanding of the word, how you've seen it used, and how you use it if you do.
pl

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Re: meme

Postby call_copse » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:57 am

A cartoon or other clip, or a quote can start a meme. Others would need to copy or otherwise parody that content for it to become a meme. Otherwise it's not a meme, it's just a cartoon gone viral or whatever.
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Re: meme

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:00 pm

I keep bringing this up, because the word continues to seem squirrelly. Dawkins tried to create it in 1976 as a cultural expression. Since then it has devolved into much shorter expressions of a post, pkc, or video that has gone at least mimimally viral. The best definition I have found so far is:
"a piece of content or an idea that’s passed from person to person, changing and evolving along the way.” That phrase comes from the article I linked in an above post.

I'd like multiple feedback from Agorans. How do you understand the word when you encounter it? Do you use it regularly? If so how? Do you find it evolving or just sort of scattergunning all over the place as it seem to me to be doing?
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Re: meme

Postby Slava » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:07 am

I agree that it isn't really nailed down in meaning, with a solid definition. Essentially, it's simply a coinage for "running theme." I don't use it and consider it superfluous.
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