How do YOU say the word meme?

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How do YOU say the word meme?

meem
112
77%
mem
14
10%
meh meh
10
7%
meemee
5
3%
Other
4
3%
 
Total votes : 145

How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Auwolf » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:55 am UTC

I was discussing with my sister on how the word meme is pronounced. I said that I pronounce the word as "mem may" while my sister pronounces it as meem. What about you guys?

Oh I wasn't sure whether or not this belonged in Language/Linguistics or General but I wasn't sure. Feel free to move it there if this is the case.

Also what is the "correct" pronunciation of the word?
Last edited by Auwolf on Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:51 am UTC, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:01 am UTC

The correct pronunciation is /miːm/, or "meem".

It was made by analogy to "gene", and so rhymes with it.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby mrbaggins » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:01 am UTC

With a silent k.

On a serious note, I say it as 'meem'. Due to it's origins.

Dictionary.com agrees.

Edit for ninja: It was actually a shortening of the greek words for mimicking stuff.
Last edited by mrbaggins on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:05 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Moo » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:02 am UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme wrote:A meme (pronounced /miːm/ - rhyming with "cream")...
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language wrote:ETYMOLOGY: Shortening (modeled on gene) of mimeme, from Greek mimma, something imitated, from mimeisthai, to imitate. See mimesis.
Bolded for relevance. The second link has a quicktime file with the pronunciation too.


Ninja'd, posted for references.
edit: answered only the second part of the question (what is the correct way); as to how I pronounce it myself, the same as quoted above since I first heard about it in a formal description of what it is and how it came to be (before the internet hijacked the use of the word) and how it came about etomologically.
Last edited by Moo on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:32 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby suffer-cait » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:29 am UTC

i say 'mem', like 'them'
buy i read it like a slur on "mame"
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby the_bandersnatch » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:52 am UTC

You're all weird. It's obviously pronounced "mooooooooooooooooo-ooooooooooooo-eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-floppitywotsit-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam"
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Auwolf » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:55 am UTC

Ok I will attempt to say it as "meem" I make no promises though heheh.

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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby ethraax » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:02 pm UTC

I always pronounced it "meh-may". I may start using "meem" though, considering that it's only one syllable, and I'm very lazy.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Meowgan » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:04 pm UTC

Meem. Because that is the right way to say it.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:05 pm UTC

I never knew so many people had such a... interesting... take on pronunciation.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby postinonthenets » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:09 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:I never knew so many people had such a... interesting... take on pronunciation.


Some schools were never hooked on phonics.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Zohar » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:11 pm UTC

Always used "meem"
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Auwolf » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:20 pm UTC

I've only heard of the word when someone was discussing Internet memes. I have never heard someone use it in a sentence when they were not referring to the internet.

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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Moo » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:23 pm UTC

Wikipedia (linked in my previous post), wrote:Supporters of the concept of memes believe that they act as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures.
...
Richard Dawkins first introduced the word in The Selfish Gene (1976) to discuss evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. He gave as examples melodies, catch-phrases, and beliefs (notably religious belief), clothing/fashion, and the technology of building arches
This is the context in which I had heard about it before my days of internetting.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby z4lis » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:29 pm UTC

For the longest of times, I pronounced it as "mehm" (as in "them") since the word for "same" in French is "même" and has that pronunciation. Since memes are recurring ideas or pictures, it seemed totally logical that it was taken from that French word. Turns out, the origin is completely different, and the proper way to pronounce it is "meem", as many others have pointed out. :D
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby sleepygamer » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:52 pm UTC

Yeah, totally a meem-er here. I don't even remember deciding, I just read it and said in my head, "meem". It was pretty slick.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby postinonthenets » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:02 pm UTC

For a while I said "me-me" until I looked up what it actually, technically meant.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Mmmm, Pi » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:21 pm UTC

meem er here as well. I've never heard it called anything else.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Xutar » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:07 pm UTC

z4lis wrote:For the longest of times, I pronounced it as "mehm" (as in "them") since the word for "same" in French is "même" and has that pronunciation. Since memes are recurring ideas or pictures, it seemed totally logical that it was taken from that French word. Turns out, the origin is completely different, and the proper way to pronounce it is "meem", as many others have pointed out. :D


Its not totally different. They both come from the same greek word meaning "to mimick".
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:24 pm UTC

Although "meem" is much closer to the original Greek pronunciation. Silly French.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Chfan » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:46 pm UTC

When I first saw the word I though it would be pronounced "mee-mee," you know, like "me, me, me." Almost as a call for attention. Now I say "meem."
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Dobblesworth » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:56 pm UTC

I'd initially always said it as may-may, as if with a French e-acute accent. Then I was informed by others in the realspace that it was meem, and I can usually get myself into saying the correct form.

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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby afarnen » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:29 pm UTC

I have a problem with pronunciation of technical terms for the reason that usually my only use of them is on a computer screen, never read aloud. I've gotta start reading the pronunciations of words on Wikipedia. I always pronounced it rhyming with "them", until my girlfriend who has read Richard Dawkins informed me of the error of my ways.

Also, I have a tendency to naturally pronounce acronyms as each individual letter, for instance "gee you eye" instead of "gooey" for GUI. Imagine my confusion when my dad started talking about "gooey" in the context of computers once.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Lord Aurora » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:42 pm UTC

Thread too long, did not read, could have been posted already, but:

The correct way to pronounce the actual word is "meem" (long e).

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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby the_bandersnatch » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:25 pm UTC

afarnen wrote:Also, I have a tendency to naturally pronounce acronyms as each individual letter, for instance "gee you eye" instead of "gooey" for GUI. Imagine my confusion when my dad started talking about "gooey" in the context of computers once.


I did that too, and I still hold that saying it as "gooey" is fucking stupid. It's G - U - I people, it just sounds cooler!

Then again, I pronounce the routing protocol IS-IS as the Egyptian god "Isis", whereas my team mates pronounce it "Eye-Ess, Eye-Ess". Mine's just easier to say. Yes, I know, I'm a hypocrite.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby sleepygamer » Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:25 pm UTC

Man, I say "gooey" and "earl" all the time, fuck y'all elitist computer users.

I still feel bad sometimes and correct myself.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby podbaydoor » Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:32 pm UTC

I pronounce GNU as "noo" so take that.

Re: the OP, I've always pronounced it "meem." Personally confirmed when I listened to Dawkins read The God Delusion and he pronounced it as "meem."
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby sleepygamer » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:I pronounce GNU as "noo" so take that.
Hee. Me too.

I pronounce xkcd as "The Secret Must Not Be Known". So nyeh.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Gazared » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:36 pm UTC

I'd pronounced it kind of like 'meh-meh' (think 'milk-milk' without the 'lk') until I heard a friend pronounce it 'meem' and I decided to look it up. The French 'même' added to my confusion, too.

I still read it as 'meh-meh', and I think my way sounds cooler.
Last edited by Gazared on Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:39 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby FrankManic » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

Meem.

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The simplest answer is usually correct!


Personally, I disagree with the entire concept of 'correct' pronunciation, as well as standard grammar and spelling, on the grounds that they seem, to me, shortsighted attempts to curtail the evolution of language.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby seladore » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:43 pm UTC

Moo wrote:
Wikipedia (linked in my previous post), wrote:Supporters of the concept of memes believe that they act as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures.
...
Richard Dawkins first introduced the word in The Selfish Gene (1976) to discuss evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. He gave as examples melodies, catch-phrases, and beliefs (notably religious belief), clothing/fashion, and the technology of building arches
This is the context in which I had heard about it before my days of internetting.


I totally forgot that! It's been years since I read The Selfish Gene, I always thought it came from Susan Blackmore.

The more you know (*swoosh*).

EDIT; for the record, I'm a meem-er.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby rainbrain » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:50 pm UTC

the mem part of memory.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby diotimajsh » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:12 pm UTC

I believe Dawkins himself said it's supposed to be pronounced "meem". That's how I've always said it.

I know two people IRL who say it "mem" and "meh-may" respectively, though. I'm also surprised at how many people interpret it differently.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby ftarp » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:53 pm UTC

I have always pronounced it as /miːm/. The vowel in a V(C)e final construct tends to follow a fairly strict pattern (a to /eɪ/, e to /iː/, o to /oʊ/ or /əʊ/, u to /uː/, i and y to /aɪ/), so I simply assumed that "meme" would be no exception. *shrugs*
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Blinke » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:42 am UTC

Due to being Swedish and never having said it out loud, I've always pronounced it as me-me in my mind. :(
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby sje46 » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:57 am UTC

1. where is the poll?
2. What kind of idiot would pronounce it "memay" anyway? How dense do you have to be? Who looks at "meme" and say "OH, Well, that obviously is pronounced "memay""? Oh yeah, imbeciles.
Seriously. Ever heard of the silent e? The silent e makes vowels long. Yes, there are exceptions, but this is the general rule of thumb. When you encounter a new word, you follow the rules of thumb. What kind of thought process went into deciding it is pronounced "memay"? Did you forget how English works? Were you dropped on the head as a baby? And if so, did your parents decide "screw it, let's not even bother with school"? Did you pronounce "adiaphist" as "add-ee-ap-hist"? If so, can I hit you with a guy-ant wrenk-ha?
3. Not cool, not funny, not a good pronunciation.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Amnesiasoft » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:03 am UTC

Every time someone pronounces this word wrong I stab them. It is meem. Isn't it completely obvious from the already established pattern in the English language?
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Auwolf » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:38 am UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:Every time someone pronounces this word wrong I stab them. It is meem. Isn't it completely obvious from the already established pattern in the English language?


Seriously?

I suppose my English abilities are not as good as I thought they were.

Well to me it looks like it should be be pronounced as " me me". I had never known the pronunciation until now. No one that I know of has used meme in a sentence until I had a discussion with my sister on how it is pronounced , and I had no clue what the word meant until I looked it up.

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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:55 am UTC

But surely someone must have used "Gene", or "Pale" or "Mite" in your hearing.
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Re: How do YOU say the word meme?

Postby Auwolf » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:50 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:But surely someone must have used "Gene", or "Pale" or "Mite" in your hearing.


Yeah of course they have, except meme. I feel foolish...

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