A Minute to Myself (35)
Reminiscing on a Time when I Could Reminisce

The Abuse of LOL

I have to admit it: I discriminate against people who use “LOL” in their communications. Not only that, I’ll even admit to virulently discriminating those who use LOL when they haven’t said anything vaguely funny. What are they saying? Do they think that we can be fooled into thinking that they’re funny because they know that they should have said something funny at this point in the text but are absolutely incapable of it? Please. (Or, as LOL users would say, PUHLEAZ.)


In my Craig’s List reading days (okay, these days), I would discount any man who uses LOL in his ad. Not only would they say it instead of saying anything vaguely witty, but they would say it in such a way as to make them seem especially sad. And, if I may go out even further on the limb, it generally shows why they are still alone. “My wife has the kids LOL.” “I’m looking for someone who knows how to cook LOL.” I’m not exaggerating. What is funny? What is the implied joke? I will admit, though I can serve a good dish of sarcasm, I don’t always identify it when others serve it. Could there possibly be something hiding in there? I doubt it.


LOL seems to be the email equivalent of the laugh track for bad sitcoms. But, as with far too many of the sitcoms, rather than make you laugh because you think everyone else got the joke but you, it generally highlights how lacking in humor the joke was. It’s serving as a placeholder for something funny. And again, it only serves to highlight just how lacking in humor the moment is. Oh, why can’t they give up on the attempt and just speak plainly. Not all of us are cut out for humorhood.


Is it the equivalent, too, of the comb-over? In that case, by trying to cover-up the lack of hair, it is even more noticeable, as is the non-owner’s lack of confidence in his hair status. Why can’t they just face up to who they are and play up the attributes?


I will admit that on two occasions (outside of this posting) I did use LOL. One time was to tell the other person that I don’t think that LOL is a word. The other time it was in response to something funny that someone else wrote; and it befit the situation because that person knew my attitude toward the term and thus knew I was using it to signify how truly humorous his remark had been. It was a compliment couched in a put-down, if you will. I, of course, have received LMAO from that same person, but I am pleased that at least this term is not bandied around like a Laugh-In laugh track.


Humor. It seems that when you don’t have it, laughing loudly doesn’t cover up for the lack—in person or in cyber communication. So, please, please tell the witticism and let the reader get it, or not, and let her decide if it is really worthy of LOL.


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