The first time I remember making people laugh was in kindergarten. We were playing Duck, Duck, Goose (if you say it’s duck, duck, gray duck, you’re from Minnesota, and wrong. Here’s the research). I digress. So, we were playing DDG, and I thought, “you know what, I’m not gonna say goose. I’m gonna say duck, duck, moose. That’ll be funny, right?”
I started my run. Duck, I tap the first kid on the head. I keep going, letting a few kids pass. The suspense was building. Duck, I tap the second kid. Electricity cracks in the air with the tension. Eyes flick back and forth as each kid estimates my distance from them and calculates the odds that they’ll be the goose. The time is right. I make my move.
It. Killed. The class was in an uproar. I could’ve run around that circle four times before the laughter even began to subside. I looked over at the teacher, knowing that I had just flipped the system on its head with my laser-line satire. A hint of a smile and I knew she got it, she was down with what we were about.
And that’s why I take issue with, “lol.” I’m not trying to start a series on words (or maybe I will, I’m not on trial here) but I’ve got a problem with the way people are abusing it.
If you write, “lol,” and you didn’t laugh out-loud, what does that say about you? Maybe, you want to convey a lightheartedness of meaning. Or maybe, you write, “lol,” the way some people laugh after they say something that others may find uncomfortable/distracting/upsetting/unpleasant, with the, “lol,” as a manifestation of the dissonance between what you said and your image of yourself. Or maybe you’re just and idiot, who am I to say?
So, here’s what I propose. If your comment isn’t a joke, in response to a joke, or isn’t even funny on accident, don’t say, “lol.” You have no real reason to. Simply take four more seconds and figure out a better why to say what you’re thinking or feeling.
More likely though, you “lol,” because you thought something was witty, but didn’t actually laugh out loud. In this case, let’s use, “qcts,” Quietly Chuckled To Self or, “limh,” Laughed In My Head. Seems more accurate, don’t you think?