Communicating over the internet (or the internets if you prefer), whether it’s through e-mail, IRC, MUshes, MOOs, MUD’s, MMORPG’s or any other acronym, has always been tricky especially when you’re dealing with a stranger – someone who doesn’t know your personal quirks of speech. We started really reaching out and communicating on a large scale beginning with the first bulletin board. Since the bulk of us were not well trained journalists skilled in carefully crafting our words this led to a lot of miscommunication. I know back in the day I spent countless moments talking to strangers starting sentences with “no, that’s not what I meant.” “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to upset you.” Thankfully someone came up with the idea of the emoticon. Glory be to a little bit of clarity! We now had a tool to better express our intent by adding a little :o) or a :P. I could now say things like: “I hope you die horribly. =P” and people thought I was kidding. (I mean, people KNEW I was kidding.) Still, that wasn’t quite enough, so out came a world of acronyms that we paraded around our words. “I hope you die horribly. lol }:-)” not only said, “I’m kidding”. It also expressed, “isn’t that devilishly funny?” Of course, adding a “jk” would suffice.
But why am I telling YOU this, you already know the history? I’m telling you this, because I have a beef. It’s with the acronym “lol”. It’s a pestilence akin to locusts. I swear for every sentence I read that goes, “…you made me lol – funny stuff”, I get “I’m going to the bathroom now, lol.” “afk, lol.” “I snapped my spine in two and am a paraplegic lol lol lol”. And I am genuinely perplexed, because I feel like I’m missing the joke. I feel like I’m not truly experiencing the joys of these activities properly because I’m more a “meh” kind of girl – “afk, meh” “going to the bathroom, bad magazines, brb, meh”. It’s like a bad designer has come in and decorated every sentence on the internet with a “lol” – like the world is perpetually high on nitrous oxide.
That’s not to say that I don’t throw out the occasional lol, but it’s more a LOL because I’m serious about my lol-ing. When I use the caps it lets you know that you’ve genuinely made me laugh. If you get a lower case lol from me, it’s usually accompanied by an unseen golf clap and likely a yawn.
So, I’m going to have to beg you to please include me in on all the jokes. I’m feeling a bit left out. lol. (oh wait, maybe my ending should be more a: ZOMG ROFLMAO! – lol)