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Meme as a modern catch phrase


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Morović, Mia. (2015). Meme as a modern catch phrase. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Stanojević, Mateusz-Milan].

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The structure of the Gordon Ramsey meme was thus shown to be based on a criticism or praise of the food, based on the “This food is so X that Y” model. We have that pattern if 4 out of 5 sample memes. Overall, it is the picture of Gordon Ramsey together with a textual food comment that creates the first input space. The second input space is generally a play on words that becomes clear once the punchline is read. Rather than using a congruous food comparison, the punchline usually rests on a possible homophony of a single word in the first input space, requiring another input space. In the blended space hyperbole is used: the food is assessed as good or bad according to an incongruous scale that the homophonic word invokes. This is the case in all but the meme from the Figure 1, where there is neither blending based on homophony, nor is there the “This food is so X that Y” model. Overall this work confirmed, just like some previous works, that the incongruity theory can be connected very well with blending theory, because incongruity requires a clash of frames. These frames are clearly parallel to input spaces and background knowledge, and the way in which the clash functions can be shown by means of analyzing what happens in the blended space. Finally, this shows that at least some internet memes may be based on incongruity and blending, which may be a way to partially explain their appeal, because incongruity and blending have been shown as significant as cognitive processes involved in humor. However, there are other elements that have not been discussed in this thesis which may be significant in their popularity and spread. One of these may be the way in which memes serve as a place to show one’s creativity. Another one may be the fact that by creating a meme one gets involved in a community that shares common knowledge and interest (in this case G. Ramsey). Therefore these are the topics that still require further investigation, which would also include using a larger sample of memes.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Stanojević, Mateusz-Milan
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2015 09:39
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2015 09:39

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