I don’t remember having feelings one way or another about the term “LOL” before 2008. I had just moved to Anaheim, California early that year and, in fairly short order, I was working at a company where I made a friend named James.
James and I were quite silly. James and I also sat across from each other in the office, our desks facing each other.
At that time, the company used AIM (AOL instant messenger) and, throughout the day, he and I would message each other ridiculous things to make the other laugh.
He would occasionally respond with LOL…even if he had not, in fact, LOLed.
So I would write back that he hadn’t laughed out loud because I would have heard him, so LOL was a great big lie (this was all done in silliness, not seriousness). He would then write back something like LTM (laugh to myself), or LQTM (laugh quietly to myself), and I would write things like SG (soft giggle), and the like. Half the time, we didn’t even know what the acronyms meant and had to ask, but that became part of the joke.
And I will absolutely only use LOL if I have, in fact, laughed out loud.
I also notice it’s become almost a punctuation of sorts for certain people. I’ve seen various interactions online with LOL at the end of nearly every sentence (this isn’t an exaggeration). I’ve seen HAHA used in much the same way. They seem to be nervous tics of written speech. I can’t help but feel the person writing them isn’t entirely sure how their words will be taken, so LOL or HAHA are used to lighten the mood.
I don’t know why, of all the things to be a stickler for, LOL stands up there for me.
When I write LOL, I really have LOLed. Often, I skip the LOL and just let someone know I’ve laughed out loud.
What can I say? I’m old fashioned. I write things out the long way.
I’ve actually heard someone say LOL aloud and that’s the most puzzling of all! Would the laugh itself not be enough of an indicator?
These are the things I think about.
I’m wondering if I should just start writing things like MIRTH when something makes me happy. I already write WHOA when something makes me think WHOA.
I’m certain I’m probably overthinking at least some of this, but I like thinking, and I like thinking about the layer underneath the layer of what I’m thinking about. I like doing a deep dive of various thoughts. Some, such as LOL, are silly. Others, hopefully more profound.
Who knows what I’m even talking about anymore.
(AMUSEMENT TO MYSELF)