British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins(among other things) coined the term “meme” in 1976 in bestseller The Selfish Gene; he brought up the premise that a meme is an idea, behavior or style that spreads from one human replicating and evolving like a virus spreading from host to host.
Internet memes today aren’t too far off that description are they, so they are indeed aptly named. General funny images, video clips though images are the easiest spread usually with text over the image. It’s encouraged for people to manipulate and alter the original which in itself is fascinating.
Here are a few meme images without text do you know where every picture originates from? KnowYourMeme run by Cheezburger Networktakes a headache out of having to investigate the latest meme that pops out of nowhere with its database filled with essentially every viral meme and not just those shared in the Anglosphere.
You’ll find usually accurate information on the origin of meme’s or at least as much information compiled by staff and regular contributors akin to Wikipedia.
They also document the reach of the meme and popularity via a google trends chart.
Information is updated frequently so now and then you may even see an update to the story of a meme maybe it had a resurgence or new controversy surrounding it they’ll let you know.
To say it’s fun to see how these little things spiral out of control over the net and understand just how easily anyone and anything can become a part of popular culture instantly today thanks to viral social sharing would be an understatement. BOOKMARK IT.
The first time I used UrbanDictionary was while playing on the then recently new launched Xbox Live While playing Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II a drunk elderly Scottish Man kindly vented to our party over voice chat that his wife called him “Minute Man” during every argument; To his credit, he always managed to heal everyone perfectly even while in this state. Thanks, Really.
The next day curious I wanted to look it up. I could have googled but decided instead I’d just go right to UrbanDictionary to see the definition users had put up.
Below is what I saw after typing in minute man.
I laughed, then I browsed around more checking up slang words and phrases I heard and it’s that simple.
Creator Aaron Peckham has achieved what he set out to do and has constructed a dictionary.com like site but the definitions on UrbanDictionary would be as he put it ” …reflecting how English was actually spoken.” making it, in theory, the ideal place of reference for reference of colloquial slang instead of being like the conventional.
Definitions can be submitted by anyone (pending approval and public opinion) so often a slang word or phrase you’ll search may have pages of definitions.
Sadly because of this crowdsourcing approach, the bias of some contributor often tarnishes definitions which may then contain non-contextual offensive language thrown into the bemusement and mental issues of the author.
The interpretation or some words can differ widely naturally so please remember language evolves and meanings change quickly, as it adapts So Must You.
A thumbs up and down the system to indicate from visitors how accurate they feel the definitions are which is a good indication of usage.
UrbanDictionary is absolutely a useful language barrier tool for parents and educators especially if they are finding the youth difficult to decipher and doesn’t explain the meaning.
Don’t know what BAE means yet? Are you using “On Fleek” correctly? Why is everyone saying ” I’m dead!” is there some sort of epidemic where people tweet post mortem I don’t know about?
Check UrbanDictionary. BOOKMARK IT!
On the next Friday 101 we’re going to look at the useful software that can increase your productivity.