Who uses it: Sociologists
What it means: Any piece of information that gets transmitted from one person to another, helping build a cultural identity -- the word comes from the Greek mimeme, something that is imitated. Richard Dawkins coined the term in his book The Selfish Gene, which I need to reread.
How you can use it: To describe everything from urban legends to your school's fight song.
In Blogworld, memes are the kind of lists we used to record in our elementary school slam books -- three places you'd like to live, five people you'd like to banish from the face of the earth, ten things you'd do with a million dollars.
NCAA tournament picks are a meme, too, and I'm feeling a little cocky about my record so far: 23-9, including Bradley's stunning upset of Kansas. HA! All of my Elite Eight teams are still in it, too. Hurray for me.
In honor of today's term, let's start a meme. Post your own answers in the comment section, and forward this to anyone you think might want to play.
1. What's the last book you finished? All the Flowers are Dying, by Lawrence Block.
2. What's the first book you remember reading on your own? The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss.
3. Name one book you still have from your childhood. A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
4. Name one book you really, really wish you hadn't read. The Bridges of Madison County, by R. J. Waller.
5. Name one author, living or dead, you'd like to have dinner with. Dorothy Parker.
Oh, and if you're a Maine resident, please don't forget to sign our petition to Bring Trader Joe's to Maine. Thanks for your support.