A BRIEF, MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF 🅱
That's it, really. Right?
If I had to use one word to describe 🅱, it would be 'catalyst'. After first emerging in 2016, it rapidly set in motion a chain-reaction of ever-increasingly dank and deep-fried meme formats, enriching the memescape as we know it.
History, Usage, & Cultural Significance
Originally, 🅱 was used for a simple replacement of the letter 'B' in written text. While there arose many exceptions over time, most notably 'ni🅱🅱a', that was the primary application. Now, since my own personal archive only goes back to September 2017, I can only concretely comment on uses since that time. Despite this, I do remember how it blew up in 2015 and 2016, with several YouTube videos carrying 🅱 to the limelight.
As much I like to go on about how 'h' was a complete game-changer in the step-like evolution of memes since 2015, it goes without saying that 🅱 paved the way for it. Being a single letter, the propagation and concentration of information in such a precise package made it very appealing and easily spreadable. After all, it only took a couple of clicks to access! No image/video editing really is required to continue the spread and varied usage of 🅱. Comment sections were chock full of 🅱s, and so too were image captions often adorned with 🅱s galore.
A bit part of why 🅱 and dank memes worked so well hand-in-hand was because of the new level of obscurity it introduced to the memescape. Dank memes had already been alive and well since 2015, although it hadn’t yet taken off like never seen before, at least not as it did in 2016. At that time most dank memes were relegated to accounts that primarily showcased surreal or in other ways obscure memes that were designed not to make sense. I speculate that dank memes in general had been around long enough and had permeated the general meme-consciousness long enough for enough people to catch on and use 🅱 alongside early adopters, such that it set into motion the greatest era of memetics to date.
Although the feats that 🅱 alone was able to achieve were quite impressive, the real key to its prolonged success also lies in how seamlessly it integrated into other meme formats. From the expanding brain meme turning dank as a result of overzealous use of 🅱s to 🅱oneless pizza, the versatility of 🅱 in its day surely cannot be understated.
The introduction of 🅱 into the memescape was no doubt a necessary and vital role in the progression of what was previously thought possible in memetics. I fondly recall its early use and saw much potential with it, considering how so much information and connotation could be conveyed with a single letter. Myself along with some church buddies would vandalise chalkboards with it, proudly proclaiming ‘yo wuz GOOD ni🅱🅱a’ for the confused masses to behold. It still holds a special place for me even though its relevance has since declined, albeit I feel more confident in it especially considering that the Google ngram viewer has one of the most flattering graphs for 🅱 for post-2015 memes. It clearly wasn’t a passing fancy!
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