Ever heard of an Internet Meme? A meme (rhymes with “team”) is a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea. It can be as simple as a catch-phrase, fashion, or anything else that spreads through groups of people. The Internet has had a profound influence on the types of things that become memes and how they are spread virally.

An Internet meme may be a hyperlink, video, picture, website, hashtag, or just a word or phrase, such as “lol” (laughing out loud) or “jk” (just kidding). The meme may spread from person to person via social networks, blogs, direct e-mail, news sources, or other web-based services.

Here are examples of common memes (see images below):

  • Lolcats are photos of cats with funny captions in lolspeak (also known as kitty pidgin).
  • Epic Fail. While “fail” is normally used as a verb, on the Internet it has become a noun meaning a spectacular failure. It can also signify disapproval of something, such as “this movie fails.” The word “epic” is often added for a bigger effect. When the fail is so big it boggles the mind, it becomes a failure of epic proportions.
  • Numa Numa Dance. A silly video of a guy doing a seated dance to a song. The original video has been watched over 700 million times worldwide, making it the 2nd most-viewed viral video in the world. The remake with digitally remastered audio of the song has been watched 20 million times.
  • Funny reactions to anesthesia, such as David After Dentist (113 million views).
  • Picture memes are images with captions. They are usually funny pictures, such as the grandma shown below, with various captions added. But they can also be serious or inspirational, such as the example below of a quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley. If you want to make some memes of inspirational quotes, use the free Meme Generator or Quick Meme and post the result on your Facebook or Google+ page, or pin it to Pinterest.

For more detail about popular memes, see “Top 10 Internet Memes” or watch the video below of top memes:


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