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Where did memes come from?

The content of the article

The Internet is used extremely widely today: for work, information search and, of course, communication. However, if search engines help to find something on the sites, then sometimes it is very difficult to understand a virtual interlocutor. The reason is simple: a beginner may simply not have the contextual information that an old-timer knows. The Internet has developed a special culture, traditions and even language. All this information in the aggregate is called memes.

There is an anecdote that perfectly illustrates the situation with this phenomenon. Some prisoners sat together for so long that they had already told each other funny stories and stories they knew many times. To save time, they gave each story its own number. Now it was only necessary to name the number – and that’s it, the cellmates knew what they were talking about and laughed. The situation with memes is exactly the same: when an advanced Internet user sees a picture or video that has received a great response in the virtual world, he understands without further explanation what his interlocutor wanted to say.

So, an Internet meme is information in any form (image, word, video) that has become popular on the network. And it happened spontaneously, not intentionally. Users exchange memes in letters and messages, and special communities are created on their basis.

Short story

For the first time, the term "meme" was used by Richard Dawkins (1976), who so called a unit of information that has the opportunity for independent development and reproduction. The definition was immediately picked up by journalists and took root. Today, a meme is something that catches, causes a response and is widely duplicated through all sorts of virtual communication channels.

Meme classification

All memes can be divided into several groups:

  • Words and Expressions. An example of this type of meme is the abbreviated expression IMHO (translated from English – "in my humble opinion"). True, today it is often written in Russian and stands for "I Have an Opinion, Fuck You Challenge." And of course, "Preved" is one of the most famous verbal memes.
  • Pictures. These are well-known images that are widely used in Internet communication. An example is facepalm – this is the name of the picture, which depicts a person covering his face with his hands. This meme stands for shame. It is so popular that you don’t even have to insert a picture when communicating, but you can just write " facepalm ". Pictures-memes become the main ones for communities, groups in social networks and demotivators.
  • Music. The most famous meme on this topic is the song by Eduard Khil, called "Mr. Trololo". Such outdated records as "Caramelldansen" and the Finnish polka ("Yak tsup tsop") have also found a second life.
  • Finally, even characters have become Internet memes. Widely known are “Captain Evidence" (this is the name of a person who says obvious things: “But it’s raining!”) And Anatoly Wasserman (he is simply called “Onotole”).

Of course, memes have many opponents who consider them – and sometimes not without reason – informational garbage. However, we have to admit that today they are part of the culture, and knowing about the meaning of a particular meme can greatly simplify virtual communication.

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