Death to LOL

I have hesitated to write this entry for months now.  I fear that my thoughts will offend 99 percent of my friends and readers. But, I can keep quiet no longer. Forgive me dear ones, kind-hearted friends, family, and cyber-besties for questioning a rampant and beloved (by most) acronym. I accept that as the minority on this one, it is I who must be wrong.  In order for me to post this without guilt, please balance the scales by leaving some overused Motherfogisms that drive you up the wall in the comment section. I can take it.

With that disclaimer…

I hate LOL. Hate it with a passion. It baffles me, irritates me, and has me questioning the intelligence of very smart people.  My issue with this all too common text lingo has been simmering beneath my skin’s surface for quite some time and is now bursting forth in blistery bubbles, no longer able to be contained.

This severe reaction calls for a serious and thorough deep dive into my psyche to figure out exactly what about the “phrase” bothers me.

Was I attacked in a past life by flesh-eating LOL-ING monsters?

Possibly.  But I feel I must dig deeper.

Is it the simple laziness in using an acronym for something that can easily be written in full?

No. It can’t be that.  Although some abbreviations do urk me for that very reason. “Traders” for one. Does it really take up so much time and energy to add the “Joe’s”?

But this can’t fall under that category for the fact that I am quite comfortable with OMG and WTF. Most ironically, I don’t seem to have a problem with LMAO (Laughing my ass off) either.
We do after all need a quick and easy way to properly relay our tone in this day and age so void of actual voiced conversations. Especially while texting and driving.  (which is extremely dangerous and illegal in 30 of our 52 States, FYI)

Ok. So, what is the difference? I asked myself.

It was this question that solved the mystery of my latest lingering pet peeve.   When I see these acronyms,  I can actually picture the sender saying the words in their entirety and the sentiment is quite synonymous with the content of the conversation.

When I write OMG. I very literally mean “Oh My God!!”. The subject matter is most definitely shocking or gasp-inducing in some manner. When (rarely) I write WTF, I can assure you I am feeling to my core each one of these words, including that which is most abrasive.  LMAO, although dangerously close to LOL seems to be most often used congruently with that which is tail reducing funny.

So, why am I picking on poor little LOL?

I have discovered that it seems I don’t have as much of a problem with LOL as the indiscriminate and reckless way in which it is used. People seem to sprinkle it like salt and pepper into every text conversation as if it were a punctuation mark. The problem with this for me is that my very literal brain will form a clear picture of this person guffawing, slapping their knee and laughing out loud in response to something along the lines of,

“I am folding laundry. Man it seems like I do a lot of laundry”.

“LOL!”

Huh?

I stop. Stare at my blackberry. Cock my head to the side and wonder what on earth could be so funny about such a statement.  Inevitably the sender, due to this lack of synchronicity with the topic at hand seems like a psychotic Mad Hatter laughing willy-nilly at anything and everything. Perhaps a more fitting acronym would be AAC “Almost Audibly Chuckling”. Doesn’t that fit the bill more often than not?

In conclusion….

This blog post’s title now seems  a bit extreme due to the state I was in at its start, before my journal therapy session.  I am officially retracting my death wish for LOL. In fact, by all means, if you are truly laughing out loud, then LOL away!

This post, for example will hopefully earn LOL’s instead of

“OMG! WTF?, she’s a judgmental B!”.

So, I’m pleading for a world where LOL is used with caution. Stop. Think. Listen to your body (sorry, we are in the midst of potty training), and ask yourself…

Are you really LOLing? Or just AACing?

Click, please!

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16 responses to “Death to LOL

  1. Em- this really clears things up for me…I have wondered for years why people were sending me “lots of love” all the time…

  2. I use it constantly, because waaaay too many things, perhaps, make me laugh. 🙂 I got in trouble in school, even (hilariously) being called sophomoric — when I was a sophomore! I use lol because I literally just laughed, even in my head, which really means my soul… But I think I also am guilty of using it in place of j/k, which has sort of disappeared. I have wondered a thousand times if people don’t think I actually laughed. But I bet you I did. 🙂 And btw – I’m not fond at all of “hee hee,” because you KNOW I didn’t say THAT!

    • I love this. Made me smile. Or should I say “MMS”? We all use different weird text lingo these days. I just had fun writing this post and I hope it came across tongue and cheek 🙂 You can always use LOL with me and not be judged….especially when one of my entries is what your are LOLing about!!

  3. John Perricone

    And while you’re at it, can we get rid of ha ha? I will be the judge of whether or not something warrants a response of unbridled jocularity, and I am capable of this without being prompted. On the other hand, I have written emails that were totally in jest (totally tongue-in-cheek) only to discover too late that my recipient took them at face value. What I received in return was a barrage of personal attacks rendering me speechless and thinking “WTF?”
    So I’ve learned my lesson the hard way, and if there is even the slightest doubt that my reader will misread my intentions I carefully place an “Are you laughing yet?” and the end of my writing. To date, this has saved me a lot of unnecessary heartache.

    • Oh yes….I have fallen victim to the texting or emailing snafu that results in hurt feelings. A good friend of mine likes to call it “lost in textlation” Love that. I also love your way…”are you laughing yet?” Such a strange day we live in, isn’t it?

  4. Love this… I had a morning at work several months ago when my poor little brain just went into overload after one too many LOL-ing, “U and UR” posts. I posted a similar rant on my Facebook wall (Although, admittedly, it was a MUCH poorer attempt at expressing my contempt and disgust with the “LOL-ers”, and not nearly as eloquent as yours. You also hit the nail on the head with WHY LOL bugs me so badly.) A lot of people agreed wholeheartedly, but there were several friends and relatives of mine that got their feelings bent. I actually ended up hiding the feed from several of my younger cousins and a few friends that seemed to be the worst offenders. It seems some people don’t mind sounding like a 5 year old when they put things in print for all the world to see.

    • really?!!! People got their feathers seriously ruffled over it?! As far as I know, no one really got hurt by my post. At least I hope not! It was done in fun and I tried to write it that way. But, I still stand by my thoughts on the subject of LOL. However, I know I also have really strange and annoying quirks in communication that just might deserve a “call out”! thanks for reading, John!

  5. Thought you might enjoy perusing this list to see if there are other chat acronyms or texting shorthands you want to add to your offending list. As someone who rarely texts (crazy, right?) – I was quite astounded at the list.

    http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php/

    **Originally, I thought it would be fun to write my whole comment using text shorthands – but decided it might come across as obnoxious. 😉

    • This is unreal! As a parent of teenagers, do you have to refer to this list to crack the code? it sort of horrifies me. Who came up with all of these? i couldn’t even get past the “b’s”!!! I’m hanging on to this link. It just may come in handy in a decade. But, hopefully by then the world will be on to a new silliness and those acronyms will be a lost language!

  6. I have to admit, I find LOL more than a bit strange myself! I do, however, insert many a “haha” s along the way, because for some reason, it seems more appropriate. Who knows?! I must say that I very rarely, if ever, even use OMG, because I’m insure if it will translate as my intended “oh my goSH!” And, I have worked very hard to eliminate my kids’ usage of the other. Funny, I don’t find WTF nearly as offensive as OMG! Hmmmmm….. We’re ALL crazy, aren’t we!!?!!?!!

  7. This is hilarious!!!! As I’m reading all of your comments, I’m saying, “yep, uh huh” because when people started using “LOL” I thought it was so annoying but now I use it all the time!! Hil…I will actually write OMGoodness for fear that people may translate “OMG” differently than I intended. This is all too funny, really. We’re thinking about it all too much, no? Em…hang in there. I don’t mind hearing people gulp when they drink anymore. I guess when you hear something often enough, it just doesn’t matter anymore!! LOL LOL LOL!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! I’m having so much fun with this. And BTW (ha!) you’ve just made it incredibly easy to know how to irritate you! Love you so much. xoxoxo (do you hate that too? Too bad on that one b/c I can’t stop writing “xoxoxo” for people I love 🙂

  8. You’re too adorable.
    I use LOL rarely because it feels forced. I write “laughing aloud” at times, I write “bahahaha ha ha” which, though annoying, actually looks like the way I laugh out loud. LMAO is a nice alternative for actual laughter, though I’ve always resented that expression because none of my ass comes off when laugh that hard.

    Know what I hate more than casual LOLs that are obviously more “smirking” than “laughing out loud”? I hate hate hate hate hate multiple punctuation marks. Two exclamation points? Um, people, one means you’re exclaiming. There is no “exclaiming, squared.” There is no “meausre my volume by the number of punctuation marks” rule.

    Now. I can go try to remember how many LOLs I’ve used with you this month, or I can go write a rant about the rapidly reproducing exclamation points.

    Kids these days. Can’t be bothered to type “you” and “your” but they can
    insert three exclamation points?

    [shakes head in old-timer-esque exasperation]
    [SHIOTE]

    • I love this comment. For a multitude of reasons.
      1.) You are the ONLY person who actually followed directions and called out an annoying “motherfogism” I directed. I use ???? And !!!!! FREQUENTLY. And completely agree with you. Why??? ;). But I can’t say that ill stop. But I might AC (audibly chuckle) now while doing it. 😉 As I wrote this entry (which was in fun) I thought “be careful!” as I know there are many other things I use that are equally baffling. Like, for example the use of “….”. The proper use of ellipses confuse me and yet I use them a lot.

      2.) I have never noticed an out of place LOL from you or anyone else on my blog. My entries are, after all Laugh out loud hysterical, are they not? ;););). That’s “winking cubed”

      3.) I needed to smile right now like you would not believe. It has been an HORRIFIC 36 hours. You will find out more In my next post when I can recover from the shock and exhaustion and find space to write about it in some way.
      *spoiler- my son is in a SPICA cast.
      Emily’s Blackberry

  9. I hate LOL too but feel the social pressure to use it. I often just use Haha.

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