Monday, September 17, 2007

Meme? What meme?

Come on feel the Illinoise
Originally uploaded by Paul Mayne.
Regular readers might remember that some words just sneak up on me. Socialize was a recent word: "We need to socialize that idea so we can make the change next year."


Today's word: meme. What the hell is a meme? According to what I've been able to find, Richard Dawkins coined the word meme back in 1976. A meme is "a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation" or "a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation); 'memes are the cultural counterpart of genes.'"

How would we use the word meme? How's this from Jo(e) at a href="">Writing as Jo(e): "Some of my favourite photo bloggers have been posting pictures of their toothbrushes. Yeah, really. I'm not making it up. I guess it's that time of year when bloggers run out of stuff to photograph. It's a weird meme; I liked the sunflower meme much better."

Okay, everyone, let's use the word meme at least twice today in conversation...

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