Anytime a group of people get together they begin to develop a shared history and language. That has never happened so fast and so delightfully as on the Internet and the smartphone. View any social media site and a posse of abbreviations and acronyms appear, most of which have a sense of humor to make you smile. Modern times mean quick communication. We communicate more than ever now sharing tidbits of our lives and one of our favorite ways is ending or beginning a comment with lol.
What Does LOL Means?
Lol started appearing on the old Usenet back in the 1980s. A network communications system it was the infant that later led others to develop the World Wide Web. Used by universities and scientists to visit and pass information it did not stay on all the time. So of course people developed shortcuts to communicate quickly and human’s beings being a friendly lot made lol which means “laughing out loud”. A few instances exist where an individual used it in letter writing but it never developed the global capacity the Internet one did. LOL is used universally from country to country, culture to culture.
The First Group LOL
Eventually it reached the BBS and Telenets. A guy with the moniker Sprout began using it regularly in his groups to note that some joke had got him laughing out loud in the cold snows of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At the same time Genie accounts (a new online service) became available and because it was free many people who were using the BBS and Telenets jumped on the lines. Hundreds of chat rooms created thousands of conversations and Internet communication and slang began to develop at a rapid rate. LOL and the smiley face began to appear. Every time a new service opened up on the Internet the LOL and smiley face followed. It is one of the symbol markers Internet researchers use to trace where and how Internet behavior began.:) LOL Now no copy exists of this first event but many of those users are still around on the Net and have confirmed it..
A FidoNews site claims the documented LOL way later in 1989. It displays LOL along with a definition. That means it was in high usage and needed definition since many people were using the acronym. LOL began its journey into more formal acceptance as a legitimate piece of English language shared with a definitive group of individuals who preferred giving pleasure instead of sarcastic remarks. No matter what the linguists, English teachers, or Grammar Nazis say, it became a legitimate word in the English language across the world. In 2000 the American Heritage Dictionary 4th edition included the word, and in 2011 The Oxford Dictionary officially welcomed lol into the formal English language with this clarification, a little old lady started the lol way back when, but gave no name to it. The Internet community says it was Wayne Pearson. You decide who to believe. 🙂 LOL Now the Welsh claim it was always a word in their language. It was used to laugh out loud at nonsense specifically pointed at those who love Oxford. The Welsh would say “rwtsh lol”. The argument has now ended.
Evolving LOL or lol
What does lol mean when texting? Over several decades its meaning has broadened and so has its usage. The All Acronyms list a host of meanings making the savviest wonder what does loads of laugh mean on a text message. Most of the time its meaning among acquaintances remains the same but among friends and enemies it has subtle connotations depending on the relationship between sender and receiver. Depending on the context and what chat is going on LOL can mean the following things.
- Laughing out loud
- Lots of love
- Little old lady
- Lots of luck
- Loyal Orange Lodge ( a British aberration)
Those being the most common meanings but many a creative word play person has added a local meaning among friends or fans such as loads of laundry, lonely old lady or league of legends.
Variations of lol
Depending on the group the inevitable discriminations have begun in this decade of LOL. Some say there is a difference between LOL and lol. No capitals lol can mean having trouble laughing. Or I want to laugh but cannot. It is sometimes used to denote a “groaner” line or someone who says something the rest of the group does not find funny. LOL in some groups have been declared as excessively formal because of the capitals. To solve the problem of what does lol mean in texting language people began to make variations that kept it on the side of positive laughter. Here comes some variations.
- (ALOL) – actually laughing out loud
- (ROFL) – rolling on the floor laughing
- (ROFLMAO) – rolling on floor laughing [my *ass* off]
- (LOI) – laughing on the inside
- (Lulz) – plural of laughing out loud often used in a sentence
Over one hundred more exist to quickly make a comment with. A few curse words have now been added to the mix with lmfao or roflmfao. lmfao meaning comes as laughing my f**king ass off or rolling on the floor laughing my f**king ass off. A “lol” exists in some form for any occasion one needs to laugh in any way necessary. Understand as negative groups try to take the term down the dark path plenty of positive groups morph it back to its usual happy laugh. It seems it is a piece of language the Internet community is especially fond of and protects. It is one of things that makes one part of the Internet community. 😉 LOL
Crossing Cultural Boundaries
Countries have been creating their own versions of lol since it has become a global word. Local words in a different language have transliteration happening. The French use mdr which is “mort de rire” which is loads of laughs. Thailand uses 555 which means hahaha. Brazil laughs by rsrsrsrs. Even a few Hebrews have added to the lol with khakhakha written nnn/nnn.
A quick scan of the Urban Dictionary online shows many a story and opinion exists about the use of lol online. It spends most of its time explaining how to use it sarcastically which is not what most of the Internet community does. The Internet is for all and so this element does exist. They suggest using it when you do not know what to say to a comment so a conversation can continue.The creative story about the Sumerian text is especially intriguing. What it shows is lol has become so ingrained in our Internet communications that now others create stories around it to keep it interesting.
Go ahead add a lol to a message or reply with a lol. Have contentment in knowing in that moment millions of others are doing the same thing. You what all over the globe wave after endless wave of chuckling is going on somewhere someplace and some time. It makes one a part of the Internet global community. The largest human endeavor ever.