Hall 1101-351

Muhammad Abdullah

Professor Carrie Hall

Work Language and Identity (351)

28 October 2018

                                                                    Stop using “Lol”

      “Yo you tryna get something to eat after college tomorrow lol?” was the text I got from my friend this morning. Don’t ask me why he put the “lol” after his sentence. Like there is nothing remotely funny about what he said. Who laughs out loud after asking someone if they wanna go eat? It might sound absurd but we do it all the time. When we get so used to a word and use it repeatedly, we don’t even start to use it for its actual meaning but rather we use it for no reason at all.

      As we all know “Lol” is an acronym for “laugh out loud”. According to the article “LOL, WTF? The Origin Stories Of Your Favorite Internet Acronyms”, published by The Huffington Post, “The online use of LOL might date back as far as the early ‘80s in Calgary, Canada, when then-student Wayne Pearson coined the term with friends on Viewline, a bulletin board system that was a sort of rudimentary chatroom. Or so he claims”. So basically a student was trying to be funny in an online chatroom and ended up creating the famous acronym we all know today. So what’s the point i’m trying to get across? Well nowadays, Lol is so so overused that people tend to use it without even using it for its actual meaning. “A world without LOL is a world without laughter, or at least a world without people claiming to laugh when they’re really just sitting there silently typing things onto Facebook with a Jaffa Cake hanging out of their mouth”   . ( ). What Stuart is saying here is that when someone says lol, you would imagine them to be sitting on facebook or any other social media silently without a care in the world for what you said.

      Well that kinda pisses me off. Imagine sending one of your friends a joke that you put a lot of thought into and they respond with a simple “lol”. How would that make you feel? I for sure would want a better reaction. Well I can’t be too mad because honestly, I do the same thing. In my case, If someone sends me something that they think is funny, but I don’t, I’ll respond with a lol. This leads to another thought: saying lol nowadays is implying that you aren’t showing enough interest to what is being asked or told to you, which is kinda ironic if you think about it. Yeah I may be overthinking it but I don’t care because I feel smart at the moment. Anyways, I feel like the increased use of other acronyms such as “lmao” or “lmfao” is the main cause for the change in the meaning of Lol. We all know that lmao and lmfao mean: “laughing my ass off” but one has a fuck in it, which in a way shows more reaction. So let’s back to the example I provided earlier. You text your friend a joke that you put quite a bit of thought into and he or she responds with an lmao or lmfao. I would be much more satisfied with that response than a simple “lol” because it isn’t that basic.

      Is Lol actually used for what it stands for today? That is an interesting question because it has been up for discussion for a long time now. Back in 2006, David Crystal, author of “Language and the Internet”, asked his readers “How many people are actually ‘laughing out loud’ when they send Lol?” Not many I would imagine. Lol is basically used nowadays to show the fact that you have read a message and payed a bit of attention to it. You can also use it to sort of balance out a slightly offensive statement that you made and turn it into a joke. For example, you text your friend, “Does your fatass want to get something to eat lol?” The lol there takes emphasis off the “fatass” and lets the person know that you’re just joking. Now read that text without the lol. It seems a lot more offensive because it doesn’t have that playful and light tone that lol provides.

      So why do I want you to stop using “Lol”? Well, mainly because it causes confusion and it’s way too overused. “Now, it is overused to the point where nobody laughs out loud when they say it. In fact, they probably don’t even give a shit about what you just wrote. More accurately, the acronym “lol” should be redefined as “Lack of laughter.” (                                ). I cannot agree with this statement enough. The word has been so overused to a point that it’s definition has been changed into many other meanings thus causing confusion. Everyone has their own meaning for the word today and it’s hard to decipher what the other person is trying to say when they use it. Don’t get me wrong, there might be people that still use it for it’s actual meaning but that would be very obsolete and uncommon.

      At the end of the day, we can express ourselves however we want. But life would be much better if we took “Lol” out of the equation. I mean there are so many other acronyms around to use. For God’s sake you can even use emojis. Nowadays there’s something called a laughing emoji that clearly depicts laughter unlike a very special acronym we know today. At least you can tell that there’s some type of reaction and not just a mindless “lol” when you use emojis.

Bibliography:

– Heritage, Stuart. “25 Years of LOL – the Good and Bad Bits.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 28 May 2014, www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/28/25-years-lol-good-bad-bits.

 

– Hiscott, Rebecca. “LOL, WTF? The Origin Stories Of Your Favorite Internet Acronyms.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 7 Dec. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/internet-acronyms_n_5585425.html.

 

– “Lol.” Urban Dictionary, www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=lol.

 

– Pittsburgh, Lauren Collister University of. “The Surprisingly Long, Unfunny History of ‘LOL’.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 28 May 2015, www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/05/28/the-surprisingly-long-and-unfunny-history-of-lol/?utm_term=.09bdfc1ba0e0.

     

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