A Eulogy for LOL
I’ve grown to hate that acronym.
Why have so many people taken one of the most necessary elixirs in the human experience, laughter, and cheapened it?
What started out as a wonderful, quick, concise way in which to thank some one, or just inform them that they had made you laugh through the wonders of the computer, hand held, desktop or otherwise, has become a digital tic that is now as ubiquitous in sentences as is punctuation.
I advocate forbidding its use unless someone can hear you laughing outside of a ten foot radius of your computer.
I’m now at the point that even if I write something funny, hilarious even, if in the response LOL appears, I am immediately skeptical as to whether they laughed or not. Sure cuts the heart out of writing comedy online. You can’t ‘mail in’ an LOL in Cobb’s Comedy Club. No room for fraudulent responses, or manipulation even, in the live venues.
When did this start? Where and when was the pernicious turn from compliment to lie made? Turning LOL into an empty, untrustworthy accolade hurts the genuinely funny guy who no longer trusts the reaction he might be getting.
I’m a proponent of ‘keyboard art’, which is using the non-letter keys to convey a look, gesture, emotion or even an entity.
\_/ = cocktail. ;=} = wink. ;-(( = sadness.
Those work for me. And I don’t think I’m splitting hairs here. The acronyms are not all abused and falsely represented like LOL. WTF always induces a grin in me, with its incredulous tone and short and snappy three syllable dance across the keyboard. You can almost hear the author’s tone rise, punctuating with the most powerful word in the English language. What the FUCK?
ROFL? LMAO? LMFAO? RITA?
All have been cheapened somewhat because they are supposed to be power spin-offs of LOL. If LOL is doubted for its sincerity, do we really believe someone is ‘rolling on the floor’?
I occasionally still invoke LOL. I hope when I do use it, given its scarcity in my repertoire; people trust that I am indeed laughing out loud.
If people laughed out loud as much as is implied on the internet, wouldn’t the world be one big fucking circus? In a good way?
So stop it. Now. In this case, less is more. We can try to revive this formerly powerful three letter message. Use it only when you laugh out loud.
What a concept, huh?