Tuesday, November 4, 2008

To LOL or Not to LOL

That is the question. Or that is a question, anyway.

I saw lol for the first time two years ago. Since then I've seen it more and more often. Most recently David has started saying it, "LOL!" Or more often, "Oh, LOL!" But only when he's speaking Polish. He says it when someone shows him a cool magazine or toy, or when he's crossing the street and a car zooms quickly by right behind him. "Oh lol!!" Yes, hilarious, David. So funny. You almost got run over by a car.

I don't ever remember writing lol except for when I was talking about the acronym and not using it. Instead, I will write old fashioned things like:
Hilarious!!
SO funny!
I laughed out loud!

BORING, I know. I'm going to start using new ones like:
Hysterical!!
So comical!
How humorous is that!
Very amusing.

But I just can't bring myself to do the LOL thing. Maybe it's partly because I have felt that, like David, many people just kind of use it as a catch-all phrase. A thing to type. Like at the beginning or end of a sentence, or just on it's own with an exclamation point or two. I personally don't have a problem finding things to type and therefore don't really need random acronyms, like some might.

I am coming to grips with the lol phenomenon, though. I must say I like seeing those three little letters in comments here on my blog. When I do, I imagine that the commenter actually laughed out loud. I'm sure it's not always the case, or maybe it's rarely the case, but I have a good imagination.

I talked to my husband about this last night and he said that he thinks a lot of people use it in place of a smiley face. Now THAT makes some sense. No, it doesn't make sense, I mean that it helps me make sense of people using it when I can't imagine what could possibly have made them laugh out loud. But a friendly smile? Those fit in anywhere. LOL!

And before you exit the blog, would you mind answering the poll in my sidebar?
*Those of you who read the dear Annie Valentine over at Regarding Annie, please know that I was planning on writing a post about this before I read hers. What can I say? Great minds think alike. And for the record, I didn't re-read hers before I typed this up to keep copying at a minimum.
Update: I just peeked over there to make the link, and remembered that she gives some excellent alternative acronyms.

27 comments:

McEwens said...

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay so I couldnt refrain from typing those three little letters. I am guilty, I use those beloved three letters a LOT. Forgive me, Lisa, I have sinned.

But, just so you know, as I repent I MAY forget and use LOL. :)

McEwens said...

Oh, and I never say LOL. I just laugh, a huge big belly laugh.

Erin said...

I have never typed the letters LOL together...hmmm, I guess that was my first time. It seems a tiny bit contrived to me. But if someone types it on my blog, I like to assume that they were actually laughing too!

Jillybean said...

I have used the LOL, but ONLY if I have actually laughed out loud.
I use smiley faces and winky faces too, but I don't always wink when I type a winky face.

Heidi Ashworth said...

I'm a big abuser of the smiley face because I am not a laugh out loud person, even in person. If I put LOL on something, it's because I really did (but usually I don't--I don't know what's wrong with me that I don't laugh out loud even if I think something is really funny--now I am going to think about my lack all day).

Heather said...

I have been pretty anti-new-acronyms in general maybe it is way of distinguishing myself from the texting generation. I don't like the use of "pics" instead of pictures or photos. And the overuse of the word random gets on my nerves too. I have one friend who responds with, "Oh, how random!" to anything you tell her, so you never know what she thinks.

Shauna said...

I love your idea of using... Hysterical!
So comical!
How humorous is that!
Very amusing!
And yes I use LOL a lot! Maybe because I live with 3 teenagers :)
I love your blog! Thanks for all the love and time you put into it :)

Becky said...

Ah, yes. The overused LOL. Have you seen this one: ROTFLMBO (sometimes the B is an A, but I'll keep it clean-ish)? LOL I guess I can handle, but the other one? Sheesh. Just type it out already.

Kimberly said...

Oh the degradation of the English language!

I'm not a fan either. I say things like thanks for the giggles.

It is tempted to save those precious seconds and use an acronym sometimes...

Melanie J said...

I rarely use it and if I see it in my comment trail, I kind of think, "meh." But if I see ROFL...then I know someone means business and that's all right.

*MARY* said...

me no like it either
I'm still a HAHAHA! fan.

Amber said...

Well, I use it. I only use it when I actually think something's funny though. I agree that a lot of people like to just use it randomly because they don't know what else to type. I use a lot of :) or ;) so when I've used lots of those, or if I really did laugh, then I will type LOL so the person knows I laughed or meant to be humorous. Interesting thoughts, Lisa. I'll think twice the next time I decided to use it!

Melissa Bastow said...

I have a problem with all trendy acronyms - I think I'm just not very trendy. I would never survive in the text-world because I can't understand anything anyone is saying. And this is where teenagers from around the world start pointing and mocking, because hey that old chick can't understand us! To which I reply, Oh yeah? OH YEAH?!!! That's all I've got.

kitchenditcher said...

Okay, so my favorite alternative that you wrote is "How humorous is that?" I am totally going to start using it. Hope you don't mind the theft. LOL

Thora said...

I only use it while chatting on Gmail or facebook, when I'm talking to people who I know already use it. I guess I'm trying to justify myself. My husband reading over my shoulder says he hates LOL. So you can add his vote to your poll, since our IP address can only vote once.

Kazzy said...

One of my fave commercials is an AT&T cell phone commercial where the mom and daughter talk all in acronyms. It is really really funny! LOL BFF IDK, etc etc. Maybe you and your daughter could try that!

Nance said...

I sometimes type lol... but only while IMing people. And I never ever ever say it. I didn't realize people do say it. Do they say the three letters ... or say it like a word?? Crazy. I hate how the internet and text messaging is creating this weirdo language that teenagers know and I don't.

Alison Wonderland said...

I am anti LOL especially because like your son, people are using them when they are not actually laughing out loud. It's like those people who say "that's hilarious" when they're not even chuckling. Obviously not, you're not even laughing.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

I use LOL because I have teen-agers :-) They're into IM's and text messaging, and use abbreviations so much I was worried I would not speak their language, so I learned and started using their codes:-) My favorite is POS. That's what they type when I sneak up on them to see what they're up to on the computer. It tells the friend on the other end why there is an interruption to the "conversation". It means Parent Over Shoulder. And I think it's LOL funny! :-) So forgive if I will sometimes use when I'm talking to adults :-)

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

Yes it must be having a teenagers thing! They use it on text etc :)

Erin said...

I am so embarrassed...when I started reading your post I thought LOL meant lots of laughs. I do not know my acronyms at all and therefore never use them.

nevadanista said...

I use the smiley face a lot, and I've used LOL at times. I do actually laugh out loud all the time when I'm reading blogs. So what's the big deal? Why's everyone doggin' on LOL lately? :) ;-) :O

I've never said it though - I prefer to actually laugh out loud in person :D :D :D Yeah, I like the laugh out loud face too :)

Cheers!

Annie Valentine said...

Fantastic post, especially that little linky bit at the end. Boy, you and that girl think so much alike.

-oLiViA said...

Why do people say LoL when Ha is shorter?

Dots said...

Ok, so I have a very funny story about LOL - when I first heard of this word many, many years ago (when I was first introduced to the world of online chatting), and asked what it stood for, I was told (by an extremely mischievous friend) that it stood for Lousy OwL... and for almost 1 week after that I smarted under the insults of being called a Lousy OwL for making funny statements... it was only when I finally asked someone that I knew what it meant!

Sheri said...

I just don't think to use it... for a long time I thought it was lots of laughs... I'm just not up on the jargon I guess... I'm a :) person :)

Susan said...

A lot of times when someone types something funny, sends a funny link, etc., it seems ok to just send off a quick LOL to let them know you liked it. It doesn't bug me the least bit, but I tend to use it only if I really have laughed out loud about a thing I've read/seen (which is often on your blog!)