Not only are we not really sure what "meme" means or where it began, but we're not sure how to pronounce it.
For instance, for me, it rhymes with "dream." My good friend Debbie of Like a Rose, however, pronounces it "mee-mee."
As I was talking about this, in mid-sentence, I had a revelation. Or maybe it was more like a memory.
Yes, blogging friends, I actually remembered something! Something useful!
Rewind to 1979. I'm a sophomore in Mrs. Jones's French class, where my French club name was "Lise." I'm sitting there with my winged hair plastered to the sides of my head, when out of the blue, Madame Jones tell us "meme" is the word for "same."
Now hurry up and fast forward to today.
OH, I GET IT!
Memes are conduits of sameness. That is, they're thematic in nature. We're answering the same questions that have no right or wrong answers! The same! La meme!
So maybe we should be saying, "mehm" because that's how you say it a la Frenchy.
After I totally discovered this on my own, I searched the Web, and yes, proved that I am right, even though I did not discover this on my own, per se. I just feel like I did, and that's pretty good.
At The Daily Meme I found these tidbits:
- A meme is: An idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve.
- A unit of cultural information that represents a basic idea that can be transferred from one individual to another, and subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation.
- A cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation); "memes are the cultural counterpart of genes".
Well, I'm glad to know my kids can't be classified as memes.
Oh, Whatever. The Internets don't need to be all high and mighty book-smart about the definition of "meme. "
We're just bloggers asking pivotal questions like, "What is the one personal maintenance tool you would take to a desert island?"
Why do we do memes? I think CS Lewis informs us on this topic:
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
For very often, in silly memes, we find that we are at least nearly the same in thought as someone else; thus, we make emotional connections.
In these little exercises, then, we reveal an inherent, God-given need for relationship and community. Every day, in a million little and big ways, we reach out to reassure ourselves that while we are individuals with unique perspectives, we are not, thank heaven, alone.
Vive La Meme!