(and I don’t mean ‘LoL’)
You suck. You are a failure. You are, in many ways, what is wrong with our culture. Not all the time, and not in every aspect of your life, but in one particular facet you are despicable. You say ‘LOL’, the abbreviation of ‘laugh out loud’ in normal conversation.
Now I’m not gonna be that head-up-my-own-arse English student who hates all textual abbreviations and uses semi-colons and Oxford commas in his texts; these aspects of language are awesome, serving useful purposes and allowing people forms of self-expression beyond more archaic language. My problem is with ‘LOL’ specifically.
‘LOL’ is mono-syllabic. ‘LOL’ is a heavy, finite sound. ‘LOL’ is, when said aloud, either a chirped, brief ‘LOL‘ or a drawn-out, droned ‘LAAAAWL’. All of these things are an affront to the emotion and noise ‘LOL’ actually stands for – a laugh. Laughs are boisterous and unpredictable, intangible and instinctive, reflecting a sudden and unorchestrated response to stimuli that is delightful. ‘LOL’s, however, are functional; they’re the collections of letters you put on a group chat when you don’t know what to say next but desperately want to continue a conversation. They’re also abbreviations, a needless tightening of the meaning of a laugh into three characters, while the best laughs are rambling, hysterical and open-ended.
As well as being an affront to the very meaning of a laugh, a ‘LOL’ is fundamentally insincere. Instead of laughing at a joke, you are acknowledging that you understand its comedic intent, but that this intent was too poorly-delivered to deserve an actual laugh. Funny things are laughed at, not quipped away with meaningless leetspeak in quipped, mechanical tones.
A lot of people are worried that colloquialisms, derived from the Internet specifically, will uproot existing languages and replace them with their own, bastardised dialects; but this is the fate of all languages, to be twisted into new forms as new generations need them. However, while new words and phrases bloom to give substance to new thoughts, the shrinking of existing thoughts into crappier, dirtier versions isn’t just another ‘development of language’, it’s a complete 180. And if you’re saying ‘LOL’ in real life, you’re ruining the humble brilliance of a laugh because you’re too socially awkward to say ‘I see what you did there, but it’s not that funny.’
So stop being a pussy and using this shite non-word.