Emoticons and smiley faces are nauseating enough, but "LOL" really drives me nuts. Call me a curmudgeon, but whenever I see those three idiotic letters, I either cringe or FLTU (Feel Like Throwing Up.)
First of all, very few people laugh out loud, especially at Facebook entries, most of which, as we all know, are insufferably mundane and usually not even remotely humorous. One has to wonder why people feel compelled to inform their friends that "I put my shirt on backwards this morning! LOL." Or "I left a blueberry pie in the oven and it burned to a crisp! LOL."
Hilarious stuff right?
Then there are the many offshoots of LOL, such as LMAO (Laughing My Ass Off) or ROTFLMAO (Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off).
Rolling on the floor? Seriously? Who does that? Nobody. Dogs roll on the floor when their backs itch. Insane people roll on the floor for reasons that only they comprehend. People who hurt themselves or have cardiac arrest sometimes roll on the floor. But nothing is that funny.
I think some of it stems from insecurity. In other words, many LOL abusers are not certain that others will find their words funny, so they feel the need to inform them that what they have just written should be taken in jest.
I find that insulting because it implies that I'm so stupid that people have to tell me what's funny.
It's also incredibly lazy. If you write something idiotic on Facebook and your friends feel like they should comment because you recently commented on their last idiotic entry, they'll take the easy way out and just write LOL because they can't think of anything to say.
This means that you're a far cry from laughing out loud and that LOL is even more bogus. You just want to make your friend know that you give a shit, which you really don't. It's nothing more than a feeble attempt at quid pro quo. You respond to me, I'll respond to you.
(Even lazier are those on Facebook who can't come up with anything halfway intelligent or amusing to write and haven't got the energy to even type three letters. These people just tap "like," so they'll go on record as having responded to something they may not have even read.)
Not that I do this very often, but I recently posted an entry on Facebook decrying the use of LOL, and suggesting that it be replaced by CTM (Chuckling To Myself), although even that is unwarranted 99 percent of the time, but at least it's somewhat less inane than LOL.
I received 37 comments and 14 "Likes." Some of the responses suggested alternatives such as LS (Lightly Snerkeling) and COASD (Choking On A Stale Donut), and SC (Smirking Cynically), and AAYJDI (Amazed At Your Jaw Dropping Idiocy and LAYNWY (Laughing At You Not With You.)
None of these solve the problem, but it's a start.
My favorite LOL story involves a friend of mine who for years thought LOL stood for Lots Of Love. She would use it to close many of her emails. God knows whether she ever received an email informing her that someone had passed away and responded with her heartfelt condolences, ending the email with LOL.
Follow John Blumenthal on Twitter: www.twitter.com/john_blumenthal