Tuesday, September 1, 2009


It's time for a moratorium on LOL.

I get the need for snappy abbreviations--I text, I'm cool, I'm down with the kids--but come on, people: it's been years with this fucking thing. Shouldn't it have run its course? Gone the way of "neat" and "chick" and "daddy-o"? Where's the new new thing from urban dictionary.com to replace this old clunker?

Moreover, let's face it: it's a lie. Maybe--maybe--when people write it as a response, there is a chance they might actually have L'lled Out Loud at some incredibly hilarious bon mot. But when they write it after their own inane, breathtakingly unfunny comment? Really? "I need a glass of red wine. LOL." Seriously? You thought to yourself "I need a glass of red wine" and then you laughed out loud? If that's true, you really should not be drinking.

Frankly, in situations like the aforementioned, people use this because they're too lazy to say something more genuine and true. It's not "I need a glass of red wine boy that's hilarious isn't it? and aren't I a zany wag?" It's "I need a glass of wine. But don't worry (Mom), I'm not an alcoholic, I just had a crap day."

Now is that so hard?

If something is genuinely funny, there should be alternatives. (Don't even get me started on LOLs crazy, inbred cousins: LMAO, ROFL. Let's face it: if it were possible to 'laugh your ass off'--if laughing were a genuine aerobic activity--the world would be a much better--not to mention thinner--place. And the only people who Roll on the Floor Laughing are in mental hospitals.) But since there don't seem to be any spiffy new acronyms cropping up from the street to convey wit, I feel the need to take it upon myself to offer up a couple of new ideas. Just so we can retire the LOL and send it to the wherever old logisms go when they're no longer neo...

My suggestions:

JK: Just Kidding. No idea why this isn't In Common Usage. It's not particularly exciting, but at least it's fucking precise. That's what we all actually mean half the time we (and when I say "we" I mean "you") type LOL.

TIC: Tongue In Cheek. You know that works. If you require a little flourish: TPFIC: Tongue Planted Firmly In Cheek.

YMML: You Made Me Laugh. Simple. Truthful. And only one more key stroke than the dreaded LOL. (Which, when you think of it, also sounds icky in your head, doesn't it? I don't even like looking at it, cause "lol" paints an image of a gobstopper stuck in someone's throat. While "Ymml" just seems like you got a whiff of something delicious.)

IS: I Snorted. For those precious, rare times when a friend's rapier wit actually made you gag.

IKBIL: I Kid Because I Love. To make sure things aren't misinterpreted and feelings aren't inadvertently hurt; gently takes the sting out of your buckshot snark.

And of course, there's always this: Ha! An actually word. That conveys levity and enjoyment--simply, efficiently and economically.

Amazing, this English language thing we got going here.