A Couple of Pet Hates

February 15th, 2011 · No Comments »

I’m here in beautiful Adelaide as part of a Fellowship thanks to the wonderful May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust. I’m taking a short break from the intensive work I’m doing on Bad Grammar to let you know about a couple of my pet hates.

Pet hate #1 – snakes. Snakes do not make good pets.

Pet hate #2 – inappropriate use of and/or overuse of ‘lol’. For those uninitiated, ‘lol’ stands for laugh out loud. People use it a lot on places like facebook and it drives me crazy!!

First of all people use it when they say something sarcastic as a way of letting the person they are writing to know they are joking. An example is:

Person A: My breath smells like garbage today.

Person B: Stop eating leftovers from the bin. Lol.

Now firstly if person A didn’t realise you were joking, then chances are Person A is an idiot. Secondly, stop laughing out loud at your own jokes and thirdly, if person A is eating out of the bin that is not funny, that is just gross. Fourthly and finally Person B’s comment is not laugh out loud funny – at best it is a smirk.

Is ‘lol’ the equivalent of canned laughter in a sitcom? Will we not know when to laugh unless someone writes ‘lol’ at the end of something?

Having said that, here is an example where ‘lol’ helps:

Instance 1 – without ‘lol’

Person A: My hair is on fire.

Person B: Oh my god that’s terrible. Do you have a fire extinguisher?

Instance 2 – with ‘lol’

Person A: My hair is on fire. Lol.

Person B: Guess that saves you paying for a haircut. Lol.

It seems ‘lol’ has replaced the smiley face :-) , which in turn I think was developed because short text messages can often be read wrong and people can be insulted. Short text messages also are by nature brief, so they can appear abrupt. BUT people use smiley face and ‘lol’ now in passive aggressive ways. For instance:

Person A: I lost my keys today. I’m such an idiot. Lol.

Person B: You are the most hopeless person I know. Lol.

In this case, I’m pretty sure Person B does think that Person A is an idiot, but with a  simple ‘lol’, they can say what they feel but not be accused of anything. Look what happens if you don’t use an ‘lol’, like Person B in the following example:

Person A: I lost my keys today. I’m such an idiot. Lol.

Person B: You should staple your keys to your head.

Person A: That’s a really stupid suggestion – I can’t believe you said that. We’re no longer friends.

See! Person A didn’t realise Person B was joking. How could he/she? There was no ‘lol’.

So, the lesson is … be careful.

Actually, the real lesson is that the whole thing is a joke, and not of the ‘lol’ variety.

I like to lol and I like to receive lols but this blatant misuse and overuse means that a lol means nothing anymore. I’d prefer a ha ha ha, or a he he he.

I have adopted ‘lol’ now, because you have to move with the times, except I don’t use it in text form, I only use it in person. When people say something funny, I just say ‘lol’. Not having to laugh out loud is such a blessing and it means I have less wrinkles, which will reduce the amount of money I’ll have to spend on botox in years to come.

Stop the madness.

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