I refer, of course, to the unlamented abbreviation “lol.” I have a politically incorrect term for its addicts, one I will decline to share in a public presentation.
At first it was just a fun thing. Someone would private message something funny, and it was shorthand for saying that one was laughing aloud. All right. And then the cancerous node metastasized.
Soon it became the stand-in for a comma or even a period:
- j: hi there
- person: hello lol
- j: how goes?
- p: not so good lol
- j: what’s wrong?
- p: oh lol my car broke down on teh freeway lol and i had to have it toad lol now were getting evicted lol not sure what were gonna do lol maybe its time to get on the pole lol
- how is this funny? doesn’t sound very amusing
- i know rite lol
At that point I had to start controlling myself. Not only was it used when nothing was funny, but it made writing all but unreadable. I just stopped encouraging extensive conversations where I’d have to shovel through a lot of lolling. Now, I don’t worry about spelling errors, grammar, even case when typing in texts and private messages. Some people seem to imagine that editors spend every waking moment finding fault with their friends’ writing. If we did that, two things would happen. One, we’d be exhausted–too tired to do our work after all that free editing. Two, the problem would solve itself because no one would talk to us. All I care about is being able to make sense of the person I’m talking with. When something gets in the way of that, it also is exhausting.
But lolling seems to be in long-term care and about ready for hospice, and this would seem a perfect time for vocabulary assisted suicide. We don’t need this. We have emojis and other little face images that might not technically be emojis, but grouping them all under that term is convenient. The end of lolling seems at hand.
I won’t be attending the funeral, but neither will I grieve.