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Idioms of internet

What do Paranoid Parrot, Scumbag Steve, Good Guy Greg, Bad Luck Brian, Russian
Reversal, Sudden Clarity Clarence and Conspiracy Keanu, among others, have in common?

Besides the obvious alliteration, that is… If you know the answer, you are probably chortling away at one or the other of their latest exploits that appear on websites that thrive on memes and related images. If you are still clueless, try catching up on all these characters that feature in memes, and are changing the way people converse on the internet.

It usually starts with one photograph of a person and represents an idea. Take Success Kid, for example. What was initially the image of a small boy on the beach playing with sand, his hand bunched in a fist and lips pressed together in an “I did it” manner. Then, someone started adding little stories of his fictional exploits, much like the stories that proliferated in Cyberia about Chuck Norris or, closer home, Rajinikanth.

That is how the Success Kid meme started, with people simply spreading images with little stories of success achieved in an unusual way or under unusual circumstances. Similarly, the Good Guy Greg meme was all about fictional, sometimes over-the-top, stories about a fictional guy and his good deeds. His antipodal opposite was Scumbag Steve (or Scumbag Stacy, in the female avatar), who is the kind of “douche” that steals candy from babies or trips up senior citizens, or worse.

As time passed, the stories surrounding them began to get more and more real, because people began communicating stories about success, failure, good deeds and trashy behaviour, which they had witnessed, through these memes. Thus, a younger brother who borrowed a gaming console for a year but sold it and all its accompanying games without informing his brother became a Scumbag Steve, while a roommate who bought his roomie a pizza after inconveniencing him in some way came to be referred to as a Good Guy Greg.

So, the next time you come across something like “India, y u no stop electing Congress?” (Meme: “Y u no...” guy) or Neil Degrasse Tyson, the scientist often held responsible for the demotion of Pluto from planet-status, holding both hands up beside his face, palms stretched and commenting on something to the effect of “Watch out, we have a bad*ss over here,” you have just come across some of the idioms that the internet uses now. Google “memes” to know more.

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