How Grade 10 French ruined social media for me


It wouldn’t even be an issue if it wasn’t for voicEd radio.  Every now and again, Stephen Hurley and I would get into a discussion over the pronunciation of the word “meme”.

He pronounces it as “meme” as in rhyming with “scheme”.

I pronounce it as “meme” as in “meme”.

On air, we’ve agreed to disagree.  It was this morning when I had the news on the television and I heard an announcer pronounce it as in rhyming with “scheme”.  Could it be that there’s more than just Stephen who got it wrong?

I decided that I probably should research this once and for all.  Of course, the irony of using the internet to settle an issue about the internet wasn’t lost on me.

The nice thing about the internet is that you can find a result to prove or disprove just about anything.  I felt good when I found this on Wiktionary.  Then, I found this.  Then, this. And this.  I’m thinking that year in French class really paid off.

I had a flashback  We were typing using typewriters at the time.  I distinctly remember our Grade 10 French teacher warning us about the death of the French language because typewriters came with English keyboards.  People being lazy were just not pulling out pens or pencils to add the accents in afterwards.  Or typing the original character and the stopping to backspace and then type the desired accent over top.

I felt confirmed moving to Essex County with its large French population.  Even generations later, they proudly talk about their mémé as in grandmother.

Who knew that your grandmother would become an Internet thing?

Or that there might be another word that had nothing to do with your grandmother?

Of course, you could do it incorrectly.

So, I’ll concede to Stephen on this one.  It still sounds wrong to me but the internet is right, isn’t it?  The French pronunciation has just stuck with me.  I guess I’ll go through life either pronouncing it that way or use alternate words like “goofy thing that caught on”.

At least we aren’t having this discussion about GIF.

 

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OTR Links 03/28/2018


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.