Internet memes: How familiar are you?

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Aaron Burns | Staff Writer

We’ve seen them around, and now they’re taking the Internet by storm. Whether it’s the Philosoraptor asking such questions as, “If guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Does that mean that toasters don’t toast toast, toast toasts toast?” Or the College Freshman complaining, “I’m so poor, ramen lol,” but has an iPhone, MacBook, and wears Abercrombie, memes are frequently found in abundance.

A “meme” is an image that is a popular template for quotes or phrases. The images used often follow a theme. To create a meme, a person would find a picture that they find fitting for the topic. Usually, words are placed at the top and the bottom, splitting the phrase around the picture. The background image of a meme is generally a multicolored background with the face of a person or animal. Not all memes are set up in the same style; they may just use an image. Memes often rely on crude or offensive references for their style of humor, but not all memes follow this trend.

Memes originated from various Internet image boards and forums, such as 4chan, but it has evolved from its original version. A meme would start out as an image or video. Once shared, it would be edited and passed on again—hence the multiple variations of memes with the same base picture. The image would be posted on a forum for others to see and people would show their edited versions in the comments.

There was also a Facebook group created on Sept. 11th called Buena Vista University Memes. The group has several memes centered around life at BVU.

The College Freshman meme usually has some sort of cliché found in college freshman life. The image for the meme is a generic stock image for blogs and advertisements. The earliest occurrence of College Freshman was on Reddit on July 24, 2011, mocking Ultimate Frisbee.

Perhaps you can relate these memes to your freshman year:
1. Never stops quoting Pulp Fiction. Has never seen it.
2. Just discovered this band, The Beatles.
3. I’m a sophomore, if you mean by credits.
4. Takes Psych 101. Starts analyzing everyone he knows.
5. Hangs up a Bob Marley poster. Only likes one song.
6. Meets someone in the dining hall first day. Best Friend.
7. Wears a lanyard. They’re just too convenient.
8. Raises hand in first lecture. “Can I go to the bathroom?”
9. Late to class. Runs.
10. Professor finished going over syllabus. “Wait, so do we have homework?”