|Graveyard, St Jude's, Randwick|
|Last week, CaT from Boston asked in her comment why this sort of exercise is called a 'meme'. With a shrug of my shoulders, I set to work finding an answer.|
In his 1989 book, 'The Selfish Gene', Richard Dawkins wrote (on page 192)
'We need a name for the new replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. '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. If it is any consolation, it could alternatively be thought of as being related to 'memory', or to the French word même. It should be pronounced to rhyme with 'cream'.'The French word même means 'same'. Dawkins was waffling on about biological replication, so it is important not to take OUR use of the expression too preciously. Although, it is possible to see some slight correlation of behaviour patterns:
Memes spread through the behaviors that they generate in their hosts.Memes are equivalent to the musical variation upon a theme.
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