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The surprising academic origins of memes

theconversation.com

Memes

The content shared online is always changing because of the creativity of users who remix, parody, or caption popular images or videos, to create memes.

Memes may seem basic, but from a linguistic point of view, they're remarkably sophisticated, expressing and sharing ideas and opinio...

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Memes have their origins in the world of academia. Richard Dawkins coined the term 'meme' in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. Dawkins describes a meme as "a unit of cultural transmission or imitation."

The word comes from the Greek 'mimema', mean...

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Going viral

Internet memes are units of popular culture that are shared, imitated, and changed by users.

The first meme on the internet was the sideways 'smiley' :-) , created in 1982. The practice of using punctuation markers to show emotion spread quickly and later other expressions, such a...

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New memes emerged that included animals with human characteristics, such as Advice Dog and Grumpy Cat.

Later in the naughties, memes began to feature celebrities and ordinary people, like Charlie Bit My Finger and Leave Britney Alone. These memes came from viral videos or a media ev...

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Memes are also used to promote certain political ideas or ideologies.

Websites such as Meme Generator can use the humor of memes to try and destroy the arguments of rival political movements.

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