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Linguistics and the Media - Term Paper Example

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Linguistics and the Media

Daniel Dennette defines it as a unit of information in a mind whose existence influences events such that more copies of it get created in others’ minds. Here, the stress lies on the idea that a meme is an inherent form of knowledge in the human brain; it is the basic unit of cultural transmission or imitation. According to this definition, everything we call “culture” is composed of atom like memes, which compete with one another. These memes spread by being passed from mind to mind in the same way genes spread by being passed down through sperm and egg. The memes that win the competition are those that are successful at penetrating the most minds; they are the ones responsible for those activities and creations that constitute present-day culture (Brodie, 1996). CMC’s have made it possible for memes to germinate in the social gene pool. The linguistic implications of meme are highly significant since information travels over websites, blogs and social networking sites, and hence languages vary. Therefore, with every language, the conceptual framing and blending of linguistics and pragmatics also vary. Hence, language changes on the internet (Crystal, 2001). According to Bell, there is a close relationship between linguistics and media. “It makes a specific use of language and media texts illustrate language use and language attitudes for a variety of speech communities”. Syntactics and semiotics of meme in the following examples help to understand why people have a shared interest for memes. Since we have already established that memes grow in the mind of person to person, it is important to know how medium achieves that. There is a simultaneous use of text and visual. This particular series is called Successful Black Man, also known as “Successful Negro”. The media’s denotation of a black man in a business suit and a witty one-liner, firstly involves a fabricated framework experienced by conceptual blending employed in the first statement, “I got 99 problems” The connotation with the stereotype of an African man is that they are hustlers and gangster in the street. However secondly, there is an intentional line break after which a line is cited having primary framework relating to a professional who took a CA exam. There is an immediate exploitative fabricated framework. The intention behind the fabrication is to create hilarity because of the pragmatics of the two lines’ frameworks. The top line mimics what a black male stereotype would say while the bottom line results in breaking the character of the first line. The creator divulges that the inspiration behind the meme was based on reverse-discrimination issues at the workplace. In this case the humor and wit, and reversing the stereotype in the meme made it popular. There should be some genuine quirkiness contained within the idea. “The meme could coincide with some kind of zeitgeist or spirit of the age. Humor is a powerful component. Often it will contain an aspect that challenges conventional wisdom. There is also a critical mass factor at play. The spread of an idea of concept will accelerate at some point probably due to the multiplier effect of people being exposed to it ...Show more


[Introduction] Ideas of Conceptual blending and framing help to understand the attributes of memes that internet users stumble upon on a daily basis. In order to study the linguistic implications of memes, I’m going to define and briefly describe the history of the concept of memes…
Author : gmiller
Linguistics and the Media essay example
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