Death to LOL
By Motherfog on July 02, 2012
I have hesitated to write this entry for months now. I fear that my thoughts will offend 99 percent of my friends and readers. But, I can keep quiet no longer. Forgive me dear ones, kind-hearted friends, family, and cyber-besties for questioning a rampant and beloved (by most) acronym. I accept that as the minority on this one, it is I who must be wrong. In order for me to post this without guilt, please balance the scales by leaving some overused Motherfogisms that drive you up the wall in the comment section. I can take it.
With that disclaimer...
I hate LOL. Hate it with a passion. It baffles me, irritates me, and has me questioning the intelligence of very smart people. My issue with this all too common text lingo has been simmering beneath my skin's surface for quite some time and is now bursting forth in blistery bubbles, no longer able to be contained.
This severe reaction calls for a serious and thorough deep dive into my psyche to figure out exactly what about the "phrase" bothers me.
Was I attacked in a past life by flesh-eating LOL-ING monsters?
Possibly. But I feel I must dig deeper.
Is it the simple laziness in using an acronym for something that can easily be written in full?
No. It can't be that. Although some abbreviations do urk me for that very reason. "Traders" for one. Does it really take up so much time and energy to add the "Joe's"?
But this can't fall under that category for the fact that I am quite comfortable with OMG and WTF. Most ironically, I don't seem to have a problem with LMAO (Laughing my ass off) either.
We do after all need a quick and easy way to properly relay our tone in this day and age so void of actual voiced conversations. Especially while texting and driving. (which is extremely dangerous and illegal in 30 of our 52 States, FYI)
Ok. So, what is the difference? I asked myself.
It was this question that solved the mystery of my latest lingering pet peeve. When I see these acronyms, I can actually picture the sender saying the words in their entirety and the sentiment is quite synonymous with the content of the conversation.
When I write OMG. I very literally mean "Oh My God!!". The subject matter is most definitely shocking or gasp-inducing in some manner. When (rarely) I write WTF, I can assure you I am feeling to my core each one of these words, including that which is most abrasive. LMAO, although dangerously close to LOL seems to be most often used congruently with that which is tail reducing funny.
So, why am I picking on poor little LOL?
I have discovered that it seems I don't have as much of a problem with LOL as the indiscriminate and reckless way in which it is used. People seem to sprinkle it like salt and pepper into every text conversation as if it were a punctuation mark. The problem with this for me is that my very literal brain will form a clear picture of this person guffawing, slapping their knee and laughing out loud in response to something along the lines of,
"I am folding laundry. Man it seems like I do a lot of laundry".
I stop. Stare at my blackberry. Cock my head to the side and wonder what on earth could be so funny about such a statement. Inevitably the sender, due to this lack of synchronicity with the topic at hand seems like a psychotic Mad Hatter laughing willy-nilly at anything and everything. Perhaps a more fitting acronym would be AAC "Almost Audibly Chuckling". Doesn't that fit the bill more often than not?
This blog post's title now seems a bit extreme due to the state I was in at its start, before my journal therapy session. I am officially retracting my death wish for LOL. In fact, by all means, if you are truly laughing out loud, then LOL away!
This post, for example will hopefully earn LOL's instead of
"OMG! WTF?, she's a judgmental B!".
So, I'm pleading for a world where LOL is used with caution. Stop. Think. Listen to your body (sorry, we are in the midst of potty training), and ask yourself...
Are you really LOLing? Or just AACing?
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