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Abstract

This activity uses Internet memes to demonstrate the pervasiveness of language rules and culture’s effect on language in online culture. Numerous introductory communication courses include a discussion on verbal communication that focuses on language rules and the effects of culture on verbal communication. The most relevant language rules for memes are the regulative rules that guide action and how we use language (Cronen, Pearce, & Harris, 1979). In this exercise, students analyze and evaluate language rules present in popular online memes. The students identify the language rule utilized in each of a pre-chosen set of Internet memes and generate at least three memes of their own that fit within the theme and language rules of the meme as a communication form. Students also answer questions regarding culture’s role in meme topics and language choices.