Such Syntax, Much Meme: A Linguistic Analysis of Memes and Their Structural Syntax

College Freshman

Meme Example



The College Freshman meme originated from a generic stock image of a typical college student. This meme is captioned with cliché situations that first years experience in college. The first known example of its usage was from a Reddit post on July 24, 2011. Then, its popularity spread when compilations of this meme were posted to BuzzFeed.


The template for this image macro is typically a top-bottom formatted text with a few instances of it in single line format. This template is one of the memes in our corpus that consistently has a null subject. It is assumed the image is the subject and thus, the verb is the first syntactic feature present.