L.E. Acuff, daughter of author and speaker Jon Acuff, gifted her dad with a hand-made guide to all things meme-related on social media, and the Nashville, Tennessee, father of two has been studying hard. While he received the gift for Christmas, Acuff recently shared images of his daughter's creation with his Instagram followers.
"It is the most amazing thing ever," Acuff, 44, wrote in an Instagram post about the gift. "She spent weeks making this and each page is funnier than the last."
L.E. Acuff says she created the guide to help her dad out with today's popular slang and memes.
"He can get a little behind on the current meme situation, since meme culture is changing and evolving so fast," she told TODAY Parents. "Typically my dad is fairly updated on internet trends, but it can take about five to 10 business days for the trends to reach his Twitter feed. I decided to make him a little book just so he could stay on top of some of my personal favorite memes and current lingo ... memes that circulate in the Gen Z crowd."
Included are popular memes like "woman yelling at cat," a meme featuring a screen grab of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast members Taylor Armstrong and Kyle Richards next to an image of a confused-looking cat sitting behind a dinner plate. Next to each meme, Acuff takes the time to write out an explanation of what it's all about.
Under the "world record egg" entry, Acuff writes, "The egg that beat Kylie Jenner's most liked Instagram post for no reason other than to get more likes."
In a section titled "Important people/stereotypes," the 16-year-old explains the internet's obsession with YouTube personality JoJo Siwa, writing, "She's just a meme because she's 16 years old and acts like a 6 year old. She's got an iconic ponytail ... also a car with her face on it."
Acuff breaks down words in simple translations. For example, fire is "something is amazing/hot." And yeet is "an expression, good or bad." There are copious notes on how to survive on TikTok, even though she says her dad isn't on board with the app.
"I keep telling him that Facebook and Twitter are over," she said, "but he has yet to make the switch."
John Acuff says he's grateful for his daughter's help.
"Usually by the time I figure it out, it's already been retired, so her doing it was such a kindness to me," he said, adding that as he and his wife, Jenny, have moved into the teenage years, they try to be intentional about connecting with L.E. and their second daughter, McRae, 14. "It's been a thing for us, asking 'How do we be deliberate and have fun with it?' I always tell parents you can fast forward childhood but you can't rewind it, so enjoy the moment."
For L.E. Acuff, the book was about helping her parents connect with her and her sister and stay relevant. And, the teen says while parents may feel overwhelmed by their kids' meme-speak, memes can be a way for families to joke together and share a sense of humor.
So what advice does the high school sophomore give to teens who wish their parents understood them better?
"Share videos and trends you think are funny with your parents," she said. "They will love that you are taking the time to share something you like with them."
"And for parents," she continued, "try to stay updated but please, check your current lingo with your teen before you end up embarrassing them in front of their peers. Trust me, no teen wants to hear their parent say something with words like 'shook.'"