I was like fifteen years old and in one of those new-fangled "Yahoo chat rooms" (probably masquerading as a gay guy, as was my custom back then) the first time I saw the acronym "LOL." Only it was lowercase (lol), and in whatever font they used, it looked like "ioi" to me - so like the biggest chatroom dork evah, I asked what it meant.

Laughing out loud, I was told with a scorn that I could practically feel through the computer screen. Like duh.

These days, it's become so common that even my mom knows what "LOL" means (and she's from a time when people still named their kids Dick). But though it always means the same thing, there's not really a common usage. It's this huge gray area. I mean, is it punctuated? Capitalized? We'll use a text I sent Curtis as an example. The original, the way I typed it, said this:

That's my boy, LOL

But perhaps it should have been: That's my boy. LOL!

Or: That's my boy (lol) ... or That's my boy! lol ... or - well, you get the idea.

Sometimes I'm not sure whether to use LOL at all. Because I know there are people who are all, "The usage of acronyms is just lazy and stupid," while they adjust their glasses and flip to the next page of their Nietzsche novel or polish their globe or say words like sesquipedalian. So when I'm talking to such people, if I need to convey that something is funny, I just use the generic "ha ha."

Then there's the big question: should you use LOL if you are, in fact, not really "laughing out loud?"

(If you're interested, you can find a whole Wikipedia article on the use of LOL here. I tried to read it but it made my brain hurt about two paragraphs in.)

So tell me, y'all: do you use LOL? How? And are you genuinely LOL'ing (??) when you do?

PS - There's a very strange update to yesterday's "Sorta-Sacrilegious Sunday" post! Check it out ... LOL!



  1. I use it, hopefully NOT too much...

    A friend of mine's fb status the other day said "is doubtful that you are lol'ing as much as you claim to be." Loved that.

  2. LOL bugs me, so I never use it. I say HAHAHA. And when I do that I am really laughing.

  3. In my instant messages, I use a lowercase lol when something makes me chuckle and an uppercase LOL when the really loud laugh bursts out.
    My friends seem to love using "text talk" and I'm constantly trying to figure out what those letters MEAN! Come on! A little help here?

  4. I use it rarely...mix/switch it up with hahaha/bwahaha/mwahaha. Just depends.

  5. Oh, I use it...a lot...probably more than I should. Maybe it is my subconscious trying to keep me young...I don't know. I do use it though!


  6. I rarely use it because it makes me feel like that chat room teenager...but it doesn't bother me if others use it.

    I remember the first time I saw ROFL. I'm a bit dyslexic so I asked in a similar chat room scenario, "what does rofl stand for?" Every time I wrote something and someone put ROFL, I thought that meant they were gagging (rolfing) at what I was saying. Um...hi, my name is Gomer!

  7. I do use it and sometimes I just say haha!

  8. I'm true to it's meaning. I only respond with a "LOL" when I'm literally laughing out loud. I laugh out loud a lot though, so I would have to say I overuse the "LOL".

    By the way, I LOL'd at the comment about your mom's generation still naming boys Dick.

  9. I think it is the most overused thing in computerdom. I rarely use it, unless I really am laughing out loud.
    A lot of people use it to mean they are joking or as a written "uh" to take up space.
    I use haha or actually say [joke], which I found out that I have to do because not everyone gets my humor and voice inflection and facial expression don't fit on the page very well, even though I've tried running the mouse over my face and talking to it.
    I use small case. I often use only small case when I'm lazy or on im.

  10. I distinctly remember asking what on earth ROFL meant.

    And I refuse to use any of them - I actually type out ha ha ha if I need to.

  11. I won't use it.

    I won't

    I think it is stupid and (insert politically incorrect adjective here)

    For sure, no one is laughing when they say that.

  12. if I write 'LOL' it's usually because I made some sort of laugh-noise, aloud. Could be a snort, a laugh or a little chuckle.

  13. I try not to over use it, but for me it means the same as hahaha not necessarily that Im actually cracking up

  14. I usually use it if I really do laugh out loud. But I try not to use it a lot because it can get irritating.

  15. i usually use it in text form to reply to something if i don't feel like saying much; sort of an acknowledgement of getting the text so the person does not feel ignored. for the record if someting actually makes me laugh out loud, i respond lmao. this is bobbijo by the way, i have no idea how this blog thing works.

  16. I almost never use LOL. I usually use haha. I guess because I rarely Laugh Out Loud! :)

  17. damn! i have to retype my comment because i forgot about your word verification thingee! lol...

    just joking. about the lol part.

    i hate lol. i usually type hahahaha. or haha. or ha. whatever. because seriously, it takes a lot to actually make me laugh out loud. and a lot MORE to actually make me ROLL ON THE FLOOR and laugh out loud. however, your comment about kids named dick made me snort. and that is a total compliment.

  18. I use it if I actually laugh out loud (probably after a few beverages). Think it's the most annoying comment though, closely followed by 'that cracked me up'. Ugh.

    And don't make fun of me...what is ROFL???????????????

  19. I usually add a smiley face. Which I find that I use WAY too often. :)

  20. I'm not a fan of the cutesy acronyms. But if it makes you feel any better, I recently had to ask what FTW was. Like yesterday.

  21. I use LOL all the time, but then I really do laugh out loud quite a bit! (I also talk out loud to myself on occasion, but that's another story.)

    I may come from the generation that named their boys Dick, but I know what WTF?! means and use it every now and then myself. I also remember when "gay" meant happy, and a "fag" was a cigarette. Still can't text, though. It's just too much trouble!;o)

  22. I resisted it for a LOOOOONG time, instead always using Ha ha. But, now it's grown on me, and I use it. And love it. lol


  23. I know I use it a lot (you should know from my text) but I do laugh out loud a lot especially if you all send me something funny.....I just can't help it!!


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