Tuesday, November 29, 2005


By now you've caught on that I'm easily annoyed, although I like to think I limit my frustration to meaningful instances of stupidity or inefficiency... Oh, who am I kidding. Little things tick me off constantly.

But you know what I really hate right now? The way people overuse "LOL" like it's a punctuation mark.

Personally? I choose not to use abbreviations (or faces made of keyboard symbols), because I'd rather challenge myself to be expressive just using words. If you don't get that I'm joking, I need to find another, better way to word it so that you do. I'm a writer, not an annotator.

But I've been online for many years, so I know the lingo - ROTFLMAO and the whole shebang. And, yeah, maybe when you're in a hyper-paced chat room, trying to respond to three or four people at once, that kind of shorthand is convenient. But, using LOL after almost every sentence? No excuse.

Laughing Out Loud. See, the idea behind that was you're letting the other person know you're laughing at something he or she just typed you. (I prefer Hahaha, but I'm too literal.) If you want to write LOL after something you yourself wrote, to show the reader you think it's funny? It's a bit like a comedian laughing at her/his own punchline... but if that's what you want to do, I'm not going to stop you.

But using it when there's no laughing involved? Like this: "I just changed the baby's diaper for the third time this morning, LOL." Excuse me? I'm missing the humor in that line - humor so strong you had to stop typing to laugh at yourself. How about just an exclamation point. "I just changed the baby's diaper for the third time this morning!" See, that's what you really meant. It's surprising! Shocking! Annoying! Stinky! Just about anything - except really, really not laughable.

(Random sidenote - is it possible to discuss the use of exclamation points without thinking of Seinfeld's Elaine, who broke up with her boyfriend because he used too many !!!'s in his writing?)

I admit it, I'm a snob. If I'm surfing blogs and see an entry filled with LOLs, I keep going right past it. I haven't been disappointed, either - the blogs I read most often manage to keep me entertained without peppering their paragraphs with meaningless catch-all phrases.

Don't even get me started on people who can type four syllable words, spelled correctly, but dump in "u" or "ur" in the same sentence as if saving those two little key strokes makes them look anything but ridiculous. Hey, I said, don't get me started. I'm done.


Blogger Trey Desolay said...

My 90 year-old grandmother is a life master in bridge. She doesn't get out much anymore, but she plays bridge on-line.

One day I found out that she had stopped playing. Why, I asked her.

It seems that while chatting several players were typing LOL. My grandmother was mortified. She thought they were calling her a Little Old Lady.

1:13 PM  

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