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Picture of Kalleh
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Meghan Daum wrote an interesting article about the current use of the word meme , which was coined by Richard Dawkins for the way evolutionary principles can be used to explain how cultural ideas take hold. That sure has changed, as Meghan indicates!
quote:
The meme has ventured into post-secondary education (Stuff Med Students/Law Students/Art Students/English Grad Students Say) and extended its reach to quotidian hallmarks of American cities: New Yorkers apparently spend a lot of time waiting for the subway, and people in D.C. like cupcakes. Angelenos arrange doggie play dates, rhapsodize about kale and say, "My therapist says I'm eating better."
Suddenly meme seems to be equated with stereotypes, in some cases rather negative ones. While I know that language evolves, that certainly wasn't how it was conceived of by Dawkins. Here is the definition from the World English Dictionary: "an idea or element of social behaviour passed on through generations in a culture, esp by imitation."

[As an aside, interestingly, the article I linked to in the Sacramento Bee did not mention Chicago in the above quote; the one in the Chicago Tribune added Chicago to the list of city memes; it said "Chicagoans deal with snow."]
 
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Picture of Caterwauller
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I thought that meme was the term used to describe those internet quizzes and things that "everyone" is doing. Now I've found, also, that meme is a term that covers any actual internet phenomenon. This definition you are giving us is even more interesting and "out there" to me! I'm amazed!


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Picture of Kalleh
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Here's an interesting take on being " memed ."
 
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