The Gratuitous LOL

What the hell are you all laughing at? OK, I get it. You find something funny and want to express your amusement in the most concise manner possible.

Typing the standard ‘haha’ takes far too long for today’s web user on the go. You need something with one less keystroke so you can get on with then many tasks of your busy, busy day. And there it is … ‘lol’ … yeah, that’ll do.

Personally, I still prefer the old ‘haha’. It sounds like laughter when the tiny voice in my head reads it off of my phone or whatever. But ‘lol’ always sounds to me like someone choking on a cold fork or doing a bad Peter Frampton cover.

Besides, ‘lol’ has lost all meaning thanks to excessive, incorrect usage. Do people really find the things ‘laugh out loud funny’ that they say they do?

I first noticed the gratuitousness of the ‘lol’ when looking at photos online. I saw comments that started out flattering, but then were shot down into a flaming spiral of insult thanks to three tiny letters.

“Aw, your baby is so adorable … lol”

“Wow you look sooo hot in this pic!! lol”

I just don’t get it. Are they retracting their compliment? Do these people not even know what ‘lol’ means? After all, I have never seen ‘haha’ tacked on to the end of a sentence, negating the sentiments of said sentence.

The practice extends to other aspects of web commenting as well.

“Good luck with your new job. I just know you’ll be great. lol”

“Hey girl, would love to get together for drinks. Miss you. lol!

So, if you are one of those people who think ‘lol’ is just a punctuation to be used as freely as a period or a question mark, please stop. You may be hurting people’s feelings while simultaneously looking stupid.


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3 Responses to “The Gratuitous LOL”

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