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


Meme Example



The "doge" meme originated in 2013 on the website,Tumblr, coming from a picture of a rescued Shiba-Inu named Kabosu and their owner Atsuko Sabo, a Japanese kindergarten teacher, who posted the picture on her personal blog. Additionally, the term "doge" is a slang term for dog which originates from an episode of Homestar Runner's Puppet Show, aired on June 24th, 2005, where Homestar calls Strong Bad his "d-o-g-e" while trying to distract him from his work.


The doge memes all have what we call "floating text", by which we mean that the words look as if they are floating and do not seem to be anchored to any specific place on the macro image. Most of these phrases were couplings of adverbs and verbs, creating multiple verb phrases surrounding the doge image. There were no instances of full sentences in these memes. It is also important to note that null subjects came up very frequently within this particular meme template.