The Fall and Rise of “LOL”

LOL

When acronyms became “cool” for texting and instant messaging, I was relatively unimpressed. We’d used acronyms in my house for years. “MIHAPOB” for “may I have a piece of bread,” “YNTM” for “you’re not the mom,” “TCB” for “then come back,” etc etc.

I suppose the first time I realized acronyms were entering the popular vernacular was when I was about eleven or twelve and read an American Girl Magazine article about instant messaging. We still had dial-up, so instant messenger was unattainable, but as an avid e-mailer the idea of it fascinated me.

I read the list of popular IM acronums. “TTYL” means “talk to you later.” “BRB” means “be right back.” “LOL” means “laugh out loud.”

Wait, what?

How was “LOL” a thing? When in real life do people actually say “laugh out loud?” How often do they actually laugh out loud when reading instant messages?

It was stupid, and I was sure it would blow over.

Eventually we got DSL internet and I downloaded instant messeger. My friends began texting. Xanga happened. Facebook. And still, people said “LOL.” What was wrong with them?

I stubbornly stuck to “ha ha.” Every once in a while I switched it up with a “bwa ha ha.” NEVER “ba ha ha.” That was almost as bad as “LOL,” in my opinion.

I suppose my resolve began to crack when I started literally laughing out loud at things on Facebook, and wanting to let people know the extent of how hilarious they were. So I would say, “literal LOL.” That’s not so bad, right?

Well recently, in the past few months or so, I realized that my infrequent “literal LOL”s were morphing into not-so-infrequent straight-up “LOL”s.

I had finally succumbed to the hated acronym that wouldn’t die.

I had lost. I’m sorry, teenage self that wanted so desperately to be different. I have become one of “them.”

And then, I started reading articles like this:

Facebook Says ‘Haha’ is Popular and ‘LOL’ is Outdated.

And I had only one response:

“LOL”

 

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2 responses to “The Fall and Rise of “LOL”

  1. I loved this post, have very recently caved myself. I was always “ha ha.”

    Like

  2. I still have an uncomfortable relationship with acronyms. I think I learned “teehee” from Ryan, and I like it because it can be a laugh or a cheeky spoken expression. Electronic communication is strange.

    Liked by 1 person

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