WebHeader_Grove.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Purchase your tickets for a chance to win $25k toward a new car or $20k in cash during NHPR's Summer Raffle!
National

This Story Is So 'Meta'

Get it?
istockphoto.com
Get it?

A couple weeks ago, weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz sent an email to Ben Zimmer, a language columnist at the Boston Globe.

"Ben," he wrote, "Every 20-something on my staff uses the word 'meta' all the time — as in 'That's so meta.' Did I miss something?"

Zimmer responded with a 400-word mini-essay affirming that, yes, "meta" has indeed been working its way to more popular usage over the last decade or so.

"Everything in the culture, it seems, can instantly become self-referential, self-conscious, and self-parodying, increasingly driven by the frenzied feedback loop of social networking and electronic communication," Zimmer wrote. "Your young staffers take all of this for granted."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.