Saturday, October 18, 2008

Death of a Meme

Watching Rocketboom's Know Your Meme segment on the word "FAIL" and it's use on the Internet, it occurred to me that it has become so common use this word to express contempt on the Internet that I am beginning to reach a point where I grit my teeth every time I read it. FAIL is everywhere, on every blog and on every large posting site like FARK and slashdot. It has even begun migrating to Usenet. It has its own blog and it has numerous images to illustrate it. All that's left is for a major New York Times columnist to use the word FAIL in the same context that people use it on the Internet.

This is leading me to a single conclusion: FAIL has Jumped the Shark. It has reached a point where it has peaked and can no longer be considered interesting or creative. It has become a cliche. It is used by people who simply disagree with what someone says but are too lazy to explain why. Keep that in mind the next time you use want to use FAIL on the 'net. You are no longer being cool, clever, and funny—you are being lame.

This is nothing new. Memes become used up all the time. The phrase "Jump the Shark" itself jumped the shark years ago.

There's only one thing left to do, pay tribute to the fallen meme and move on.

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