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It's All About Meme

Freaky-haired psychology boffin Dr. Harry Witchel has been explaining all about memes and their prevalence in the Big Brother House.

Memes (pronounced 'meems') are cultural practices or ideas transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. There, now you know!

Er, let us explain in more simple terms: many things can become memes if copied, but they are usually words or gestures or even the singing of a particular song, which is then taken-up by someone close to you and then used or repeated. The meme will inevitably then spread to other people.

For example, you must have been in the situation where you started singing a song and someone suddenly joined-in, prompting you to say jokingly, "Oi, stop singing my song!" Well, that was a meme, and actually, singing is quite a big one for this year's housemates.

Other examples of memes would be when people say something like 'mint' or even 'cool', the latter disappearing from general use in the UK for many years, but making a comeback more recently meaning: excellent, smart, impressive, or in its most recent cultural usage: okay, fine, thanks.

Basically, words or phrases which get picked-up and are subsequently used by others, like 'Wassup?' copied from the BT television adverts a few years back. For a while, everyone was going around saying it in offices and playgrounds around the country.

Examples in the Big Brother House this year would be the word 'babe' or 'babes'. Lea was actually the first to say it, but it soon spread to Sezer, Imogen, Mikey and most notably, Aisleyne, who seems to use it almost every other word now.

Talking of which, the fact that Lisa swore so much during her time in the House also had an effect on her peers, and definitely upped the ante in the meme stakes. Everybody was flippin' doing it at one point!

Some memes just don't get going though, like Lisa's 'mint' or Pete's 'safe', but one phrase which the group has picked-up on, is 'Good thinking Batman!' This has been said in the UK for donkey's years now, but has surely never been heard so regularly as it has during Big Brother 7?

"It is used by the housemates as a way of saying 'I agree with you'," explained the Doc, adding, "It's such a peculiar and odd thing, but obviously one that's catchy. One thing that's impressive is that Suzie – who is unchangeable and will leave the House completely unchanged from the way she was – used that phrase, and there's no way that was in her vocabulary before".

So, if you find yourself smacking your chest, whistling like a bird, making clacking sounds, performing drum and bass into your cupped hand or saying, "W***ers!" inexplicably, don't blame Pete, just blame the memes!

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