[FoRK] meme: M-W's Word of the Day (fwd)

Zee Roe zero
Thu Aug 18 06:49:01 PDT 2005

Proof of meta-meme? JB would be proud.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 23:50:00 -0500
From: word at m-w.com
Subject: meme: M-W's Word of the Day

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The Word of the Day for August 18 is:

meme   \MEEM\   noun
     : an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture

Example sentence:
     "Blogs are an interesting way... of seeing which ideas, memes, trends and news events are getting the most comment." (Clive Thompson, quoted in the _Sunday Tribune_, February 6, 2005)

Did you know?
     In 1976, British scientist Richard Dawkins wrote _The Selfish Gene_, and in his book he defended his new creation, the word "meme." Having first considered, then rejected, "mimeme," he wrote: "'Mimeme' comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like 'gene.' I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate 'mimeme' to 'meme.'" The suitable Greek root was "mim-," meaning "mime" or "mimic." Dawkins's "mimeme" was formed from "mim-" plus "-eme," an English noun suffix that indicates a distinctive unit of language structure (as in "grapheme," "lexeme," and "phoneme"). "Meme" itself, like a good meme, caught on pretty quickly, spreading from person to person as it established itself in the language.

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