Photo credit: @julesdwit.
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Ben Zimmer, language columnist for the Boston Globe and executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com, talks about the YOLO phenomenon and other new examples of youth slang. He wrote about it in his Boston Globe column.
YOLO "phenomenon"?! Yeah, it should last about another 17 seconds before it's forgotten...like the slang from EVERY OTHER ERA!
LOLcats go back long before their name. Ethicon, a company that made suture material, published an "Ethicon Cat-A-Log" in the late 1950s w/captioned pictures of cats (related to medicine & surgery). The cover (which you can see at http://www.tias.com/11862/PictPage/1922440396.html) shows an open-mouthed kitten w/the caption "...but I *am* sterile, doctor!"
I can't possibly explain the total number of memes that are out there. A truly DISconnected (connected to Internet, disconnected from real-life) youth probably keeps something north of 500 memes in his/her head. New Classes of them come in to being seemingly weekly, and each class spawns a hundred re-interpretations. There are websites that track them like NPR does news.
I do enjoy the Willy Wonks memes.
Has the word meme been used yet? Increasingly, peoples identities, and conversations are on-line. This means images-only references are taking over.
YOLO? This sounds like the topic of an article by a junior professor at a 3rd rate college who is desperately padding his publications list in a (futile) quest for tenure.
encapsulates nicely the stupidity of today's generation.
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