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The World Made MemePublic Conversations and Participatory Media$
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Ryan M. Milner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034999

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034999.001.0001

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Vernacular: Everyday Expression in the Memetic Lingua Franca

Vernacular: Everyday Expression in the Memetic Lingua Franca

Chapter:
(p.79) 3 Vernacular: Everyday Expression in the Memetic Lingua Franca
Source:
The World Made Meme
Author(s):

Ryan M. Milner

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262034999.003.0004

This chapter focuses on the social dimensions of memetic practices, arguing that the memetic lingua franca is a vernacular premised on the creative transformation of expressions that have come before. In this way, memetic participation depends on the interrelations of fixed premise and novel expression. Just as spoken conversations are “prepatterned” by norms, tropes, and colloquialisms, memetic conversations are prepatterned by the expressions others have produced before. The chapter then outlines the vernacular creativity required in memetic conversation, emphasizing the collective standards guiding that creativity. Memetic expression is simultaneously influenced by and influences collective conversations. Because of this reciprocity, vernacular creativity is susceptible to the jargons, marginalizations, and antagonisms inherent to all collective conversations. Ultimately, memetic conversations are vibrant, if imperfect.

Keywords:   Internet Memes, Memetics, Media Studies, Participatory Culture, Discourse Analysis

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