USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘Memes’
Digital
Folk speech
general
Humor
Proverbs

Difficult Difficult Lemon Difficult

Context: My roommate discovered this meme one day, and it prompted a discussion about the various levels of depth it reached.

Background: My roommate is a self-described “conveyor of fine memes” and has a hobby of collecting, creating, and sharing Internet memes.

The Meme: The meme (attached to this post) is a play on the phrase “easy peasy lemon squeezy.” The phrased is reworked in a text explanation that laments the fact that things are not “easy peasy lemon squeezy” as once believed, but are in fact “difficult difficult lemon difficult.” This explanation is accompanied by the image of a middle-aged woman furiously gripping a laptop in both hands and biting into it.

Analysis: This became a folklore discussion as a surprise, as the further my roommate and I discussed it, the more it seemed to work as a piece of folk speech. “Difficult difficult lemon difficult” is definitely an evolution of the saying “easy peasy lemon squeezy,” which itself has an origin that feels meaningless in the context the phrase has since gained. The specific discovery of the newly-changed saying also has the context of being in meme form, memes being one of the more common areas of unauthored expression in the 21st century.

general

Mr. Krabs Meme

Informant: Do you know the memes on Instagram, like, the accounts that are called like “the female life” or “funny posts” just like those accounts? They always have a lot of really funny ones. I honestly every day just find a funny meme that’s relevant to what I’m doing will pop up in my head, and I’ll just laugh, like for example… Oh there’s one from Spongebob, that’s a picture of Mr. Crabs in the center, and everything around him is a big blur, and I forget what the caption was because a lot of people have created their own little captions for it, but I always refer back to that meme when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and I feel like I’m Mr. Crabs in that situation.

 

My informant is a freshman at the University of Southern California. She is studying psychology. She is from Orange County, California. I spoke to her in her dorm one night.

 

This is an example of a newer type of folklore, or something that has to do with terminus post quem. This could not have existed before certain social media has allowed it to exist. It’s a way of sharing something funny but relatable and adding humor to it. It shows multiplicity and variation with the different captions used with it.

Digital
Game
general

THE BUTTON

ABOUT THE INFORMANT:

My informant is a senior graduating this semester from USC. He is a biomedical engineer, and is the oldest son of two immigrants from China.

EXAMPLE:

https://www.reddit.com/r/thebutton/

CONTEXT/BACKGROUND:

“I found this thing, well actually, my buddy sent it over to me because he is the one who always spends his time on the internet, Reddit in general, and he showed it to me. It’s basically this button, I guess it’s been up since April 1st. Apparently it was supposed to be like an April’s Fools joke, you know? So that’s how it all begun.

The whole concept is that there is like this timer. And it is counting down from 60 seconds. And every time someone clicks it, then the clock resets back to 60. And so far, I guess like over 800,000 people have clicked it. And you can only click it once. And in order to be eligible to click it you must have a Reddit account from before April 1st, 2015. There is like a whole wiki that the people of Reddit created on it.

But essentially, it’s like never dropped to 00. Like the clock has never run out. Someone has always clicked it before the clock runs out, you know. So, like, some people just watch it. And some sites track it, I guess.

But then like, Reddit started giving you a badge with a specific color for when you pressed it on the timer. So like Anywhere between 60 and 50 you get a purple badge, and then it keeps working its way down the wire until you get Red, which is between 10-00.

But now what’s happened is that like a hierarchy, a class system has like been established. Because the color is shown on your profile. So they will have like the red, green, purple, whatever, and then if you haven’t clicked it, it’s gray. So now like Red is like the best, with Purple seen as the worst. And then gray is like the pacifists or whatever. Like they aren’t taking part. And their are subreddits about the colors.

So now everyone has like their own community. And then there’s been like fan fiction, comics, memes, all about these freakin’ colors and the button.

It’s absurd.

And then since it’s also never run out, everyone is kind of panicking too about what will happen when it does.”

ANALYSIS:

What’s so funny about this is that there is this community that has sprung up from just a button. It is now for some people a form of identity. I do not think I could have ever predicted that if something like this happened people would care about it this much. Of course, this obsession of the button is quite contained, but people take it seriously.

I think it is interesting that people have started creating forms of media all about the button, linking the community together through inside jokes and vernacular that only they know. It has become this cause, to keep the button alive, and then in that it has turned into a system that mirrors our own in terms of society and classism. On one hand, I would like to think that for some people it is pure satire, but I think for others they actually are buying into it. There is like a real pride from being in the red group. And there are inside jokes just based on what color you are. It really is a weird mirror of society in its own way.

Digital
Folk speech
Humor

Leauge of Legends – Slang Words and Memes

About the Interviewed: Jared is a sophomore at the University of Southern California, studying Finance. At the time of this interview, he is also my roommate. His ethnic background is distinctively Chinese, and his parents are first-generation American immigrants. He is 20 years old.

At this point of the interview, I highlighted upon my roommate’s love of League of Legends, a massively popular online computer game.

Jared: “League of Legends is an extremely popular game. People play it all over the world. You play it by choosing a hero and joining a team. You have to help your team defeat the other team. It’s pretty simple.”

I ask him about any slang words or unique vernacular he may have encountered while playing such a globally accessed game.

Jared: “Sure. There’s a ton of humor and inside jokes between people who play the game. Internet memes and things like that are pretty popular on there. Aside from basic things like, LOL and WTF, League has other things. A few of the more recent ones- one of them is like, BM, which stands for Bad-Mannered, it’s like when you do things out of line, or sabotage the team, that’s what BM means.”

I ask him if it came about as a result of cooperative play. 

Jared: “Yeah pretty much. Another one is ‘GG, no RE’, I don’t know if you’ve heard that, it means “Good Game, no Rematch”, if you want a rematch, you just type RE.”

I ask if he thinks that these phrases came from the community or the people who made the game.

Jared: “They’re probably from the community – thousands of people play the game everyday. There’s actually a meme going around right now – LOMO. There was a guy on one of the Chinese teams – Vasili – instead of typing L.M.A.O. [Laughing My Ass Off] he kept typing L.O.M.O, so people have been saying LOMO a lot lately.”

Here, I ask Jared if he thinks that League’s multi-regional nature contributes to the evolution of these slang terms and jokes.

Jared: “Totally, yeah, It’s always changing.”

Summary:

Players of the popular online game “League of Legends” has developed a number of slang terms and abbreviations as a response to the rapidly evolving culture of the game.

 Games like “League of Legends”, that have large, active global communities, are sources of evolving culture. In order to make the game more efficient, players invented terminology to keep things fluid – terminology that can be recognized almost universally, from players in America to players in Korea. The Internet is full of subcultures such as this, but League’s mass popularity ensures that its culture is always on the move.

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