The Facebook and SMS phenomenon took the world by the neck over a decade ago; it also ushered in a new vocabulary that had to be learnt. It brought with it mainly acronyms that had to be studied, TC- Take Care, ROTFL- Rolling On The Floor Laughing, LMAO- Laughing My A*^ Off, L8- Later and the most commonly used LOL- Laughing Out Loud or Laugh Out Loud. LOL with the meaning of Laugh Out Loud has almost evolved to mean something more than just laughing at a humourous statement. Sometimes LOL has a far greater meaning if you can read between the LOL.
In its normal form LOL is usually used to reflect an action of laughing even though the person writing it may not necessarily be laughing their heads out. Most LOLs are genuine and there is nothing more to them. However, some LOLs have begun to be used as disclaimers to the statements that we make and we are not sure how the person will react. LOL has become almost a rubberstamp that just in case what I have written offends you, is misunderstood or is simply out of line then refer to the LOL. In the event that all is well then the LOL should be ignored.
Take for example a message that is sent, “Will you go out with me? LOL”
In this context the LOL acts as a disclaimer. It leaves no room for the girl to get upset. In the event that she does, there is the LOL to signify that it was a joke. Therefore, everything that came before the LOL should not be taken to heart, and there is no reason to fret. If she says yes then the LOL likewise can be ignored. We remain playing the guessing game to really try to interpret what is actually meant by the messages we send. It is a hassle to determine whether the messages we receive should be taken lightly or seriously.
Then LOL is being used as another disclaimer when someone wants to be sarcastic.
“You are an arrogant fool! LOL”
Because the person put LOL, you will think that they were joking when in actual fact they literally meant that you are an arrogant fool. In other words LOL has become a nice way of insulting someone and getting issues off our chests without actually being direct. The fact that you got the point across that the other person is an arrogant fool is all that matters. Consider it a more polite way of giving someone a piece of your mind.
In a nation where most people are regarded as passive and rarely speak their mind for the fear of it being misconstrued for rudeness, LOL has been the life saver. We can now tell people all the romantic niceties, the crap we think of them, the way they make us feel or the pain they cause us without actually feeling bad or embarrassed. The reality is many of us have people around who never get to tell us the truth in our face. It is much easier to tell someone positives and praises than to tell the negatives and criticisms. LOL spares us that uncomfortable situation.
By and large, LOL has given us the opportunity to share our thoughts with people even though it may be indirectly. The fact that it has been laid bare and subject to own interpretation does not matter much, after all the LOL is there to protect you just should things go bad. Perhaps the only problem with LOL is that it can only be used in the written format. Finally, thank you for commenting on this blog in advance. LOL