Know Your Meme

by KellyAnn Bonnell

Teaching means learning a new vocabulary every few years. Keeping up with what is relevant in the lives of today’s student can be a challenge. Here’s a great resource that will keep you on top of what’s happening on the web. It’s a blog called Know Your Meme.

According to Wikipedia (I’ve finally figured out how to view Wikipedia. I consider it a resource but not a source), a meme (play /ˈmm/[1]) is “an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.[3]

The word ‘meme’ is a shortening (modeled on ‘gene’) of ‘mimeme’ (from Ancient Greek μίμημα Greek pronunciation: [míːmɛːma] mīmēma, “something imitated”, from μιμεῖσθαι mimeisthai, “to imitate”, from μῖμος mimos “mime”)[4] and it was coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976)[1][5] as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, fashion and the technology of building arches.[6]

I highly recommend you take a look. You’ll be hip, cool and totally in the know before you know it…lol.

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