Fabricated Cognates as Memes

In October 2016 a trend began of tweets that were probably photos of food, with a caption that ended with a nonsense phrase; a phrase that when read, makes no sense, but when spoken, sounds oddly like "bon appetít." The use of this and related phrases indexed the users/tweeters as cool, hip, and knowledgeable about pop culture, and it allowed them to show off their creativity as the actual photos of food became more and more ridiculous. This meme is particularly interesting from a sociolinguist viewpoint because there's no actual speaking occurring, but anyone in on the joke knows that speech is a vital part of the humor - this entire phenomenon is text-based, and yet intimately tied to the pronunciation of English.

Posted by Logan Hotz on June 26, 2017

Internet Language;
Language Shift;

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