On the Origin of Species

What’s the singular form of the word species? Let’s say for example, that I want to say the following:

There are many different species of snake around the world.

That’s OK, I’m referring to multiple species so of course it has to be plural. But what if I want to be more specific, and say something like:

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Dank Memes

If you’re young and hip like me, you’ll have come across the term dank meme, and know that a dank meme is a cool image or video that becomes popular. Goes viral, if you will.

Though the word meme is strongly associated with internet culture, it’s got a longer history than you might imagine. The term was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 work on evolutionary biology, The Selfish Gene. It referred to an idea, behaviour, or style that spreads between individuals within a culture. A particular fashion or popular opinion that spreads quickly, like a virus, could be considered a meme. Dawkins came up with the theory of the meme in a book on evolution, as he considered that ideas could be under the same pressures to adapt and replicate as biological organisms. Continue reading