Tuesday, May 03, 2005

 

Have I made a "meme" of it?

I once again fail to create an original idea

It is one of my few unrealistic life ambitions (see above: "setting reasonable goals") to introduce a new term into English slang. In my last couple of posts, I've tried these three:
googlation: to translate and retranslate text from English to a foreign language and back to English

googlish: the English language text that results from googlating; and

eyedar: the innate ability of women to bust men who are scoping other women
After-the-fact Google searches reveal all three terms have appeared on the web, though not using the meanings I suggest. It turns out that "googlate" already has a pretty good meaning, according to Unwords.com:
To enter random words into a search engine out of sheer boredom or curiousity.
Maybe my proposed meaning of "googlation" could become definition #2. Based on past experience, I would guess that none of my slang will catch on, but "Googlate" seems to be the frontrunner, thanks to two posts from Bozzo at Marginal Utility. "It's the latest craze to hit the internets," he says here. The latest craze between me and him, perhaps; he also says here that:
Oscar creats some Googlation art from the words "the Bush Administration" at the Columnist Manifesto, in the latest example of why his blog deserves one hundred times its average daily traffic.
I have always considered Bozzo to be a blogger of great perspicacity as well as taste.

Thanks to Bozzo, my "googlation" thing may have become a "meme." After seeing the word "meme" for the umpteenth time -- it's a frequently used term of art in some blogger circles -- I finally broke down and asked what the hell it means. As Phantom Scribbler kindly explained (care of Dictionary.com), it is:
A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.
Okay, so has my version of "Googlation" acquired memedom? Note how my "control" of this particular unit of cultural "information" has already passed out of my hands and into the more general blogosphere, here.

***

Comments:
I think what your version of Googlation is currently lacking for meme-dom is self-perpetuation.

I tried to think up with an alternative term that doesn't use Google's trade dress (and that lacks the association of Google with web searches, as in the pre-existing usage you located), but came up dry.

Among other things, I concluded that English really needs is a prefix that captures the round-trip aspect of Googlation better than trans-. Or, if it already has one, I need to know what it is.
 
I've had lots of fun playing with Googlation. I can't come up with a worthy name, either.

- trans-translation? Clumsy.
- retranslation? Maybe. That's what Twain called it. He knew the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
- Babel-fishing? The name identifies it with a less-popular translation service. But the name also ties it to a hit movie.

How about just "the translation meme" or "the retranslation meme?"
 
How about "the Shrub meme," in honor of its finest hour?
 
I must flex my geekly muscles here and point out that the term "meme" was coined by some sociologist or SF author (or some SF author decided to use it in a story after reading a sociology paper) as an analogy to describe how "thought forms" spread in a culture by relating it with how [virus] genes are spread through a population. Meme, I believe is a shortening of "memory gene" or something like that.

as far as a term that describes the mangling of a language using machine translation devices (such as Babel Fish [from a much more famous set of books vaguely related to the so-called "hit" film of the same name] or Google's translation page), what about something like transmangling or perhaps gargling?
 
Have you done anything earth shattering lately?

Read anything that really sets your mind on fire with a passion to do good?

How about doing something important for yourself?

Have you?

Do you know without a doubt where life is taking you?

Got a Plan?

Know how to get there?

Most people don't. They just go through life hoping for the best. How can you possibly reach your dreams if you don't have a real plan?

A new year is coming. It's time to start thinking about your New Years Resolution and really start planning your life don't you think. Follow through on some of those old goals you had years ago.

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Are you one of those?

Need a little refresher and some FREE goal setting tips?

Spend a few minutes at career goals and take away life changing information.

Happy New Year!
 
I was going to leave a little tip on New Years Resolutions and how to make the best of them.

Unfortunately, I would not be able to keep it brief.

Goal setting takes effort and you really have to know how to do it to do it well. Especially the follow-up.

That's why I've included a lot of FREE goal setting information on my website, to help folks like you be more successful.

In fact, you can start now, and get a head start on the new year - and the rest of your life.

Think goal setting isn't important? Spend a little time at setting goals and you'll change your mind.

Have a GREAT day!
 
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