I was reading this post on Stack Overflow Meta. It's a list of so-called "meme"s, which is interesting to read. However, I cannot understand what does the "cultural height" part in the answers mean. Here is an example:

Meme: Jon Skeet

Originator: Jon Skeet

Cultural Height: Every Day. Ever.

Background: Jon Skeet is an avid user of Stack Overflow, whose many answers (primarily in c# and .net) have earned him hundreds of thousands of reputation points. This makes him the top-ranked SO user.

Related: Jon Skeet Facts.

I've tried searching online, but e-dictionaries told me "cultural height" means "height of culture", which doesn't make sense.


1 Answer 1


‘Oxford living Dictionaries’ defines meme as

An image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.

The cultural height refers to the meme's peak in popularity. Very often these memes seem to be heard and seen everywhere on the Internet, until a new one arrives and replaces it. For example, if you visit the website Know Your Meme you'll see which memes are currently trending. Look at the tag, popular, and you'll find a very recent meme about Harambe the gorilla. Back in the summer of 2016, it seemed Facebook and Twitter etc. could talk of little else, its cultural height (peak in popularity) can be easily identified in the graph below, and at the same time we see the meme's popularity declining rapidly although it enjoyed a brief resurgence immediately after the US elections (see link for further details).

enter image description here

As far as StackOverflow user Jon Skeet is concerned, his meme, i.e. his fame among StackExchange users, is never ending. There is no decline in his awesomeness. Hence the succinct and humorous note: “Every Day. Ever.

If we look at the other memes listed on the SO page, perhaps the meaning of "cultural heights" will become clearer.

In this example, we see a very specific date, April 1st 2009 that tells us when the meme's popularity exploded.

enter image description here

Here the term ongoing suggests that the meme is still current, and continuing.

enter image description here

Of course, this is all subjective, the users who posted these memes have their tongues placed firmly in their cheeks, there is nothing remotely serious about StackOverflow memes. The same can be said for the deliberately highfalutin expression, "cultural heights", although Google Books does report 625 instances.

The Maya civilization, which reached its cultural height between 300 A.D. and its mysterious disappearance in 900 A.D.

  • "Cultural height" refers to "peak in popularity", but it seems that Every Day. Ever. is describing something like "cultural span"...
    – nalzok
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 7:24
  • @SunQingyao and what would height refer to?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 7:39
  • I have no idea. I just think the use of height here is a bit of confusing
    – nalzok
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 9:08
  • @SunQingyao OK, I'll edit my answer to make it clearer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 9:17

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