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08 Dec 2006



I loathe “leet” speak, and its variants. If someone asks me “do u need a grp” or “can u help” I won’t even acknowledge the question. I’m no spelling / grammar purist in the online world, but the laziness implied by leet and other forms of net speak just bugs the hell out of me.

LOL isn’t in quite the same category. It’s used by net kiddies, but it’s also used by people for whom I have a lot of respect. It crept in during the early days of AOL, and it’s made its way into mainstream online discourse, so I guess I can grin and bear it. I’ll use emoticons, which I know some people hate, but “LOL” – unless you’re actually laughing out loud – just seems out of place.

That’s really why it bugs me so much. Usually it clearly does not mean that you’re laughing out loud. More often it implies rudeness. “Laughing in your face” would be a better interpretation. As much hostility as LOL usually implies, I’ve grown to resent it, and have to work hard at not seeing a negative intent in the writing of those who use it with its original meaning.

So, having griped, the point of this – I recently saw a great message on the World of Warcraft forums. I’d link it, but the link will only be good for about two weeks until the thread expires, so I’ll just attribute it to Xhaos, a player on the Argent Dawn server, and paste it here without permission. ‘Course, this is all very specific gamer abuse of LOL, but the main points stand.

The term “lol” has to be the most misused of any in this game. I don’t believe for a second that the person sitting behind their specially made two-key keyboard is actually laughing out loud. Only you can prevent lol’ing. Please, exercise lol restraint and try not to be the proud owner of any of the following lol’s.

-The I didn’t laugh but I feel like something should be said-

-The I actually laughed a little inside.. kind of-

-The Sandwich-
“lol how r u doing lol”

-The I don’t like confrontation but I still want to show how angry I am-
“why would u roll need on that.. lol”

-The ridiculous lol-

-The sneaky lol-
“lol, hey guys” < - (Did I catch a niner in there?) -The I don't care about anyone and I just want information and my grammar is terrible- "lol, soryr Imm in LFG and I no that wut is isn't 4 but pleae 1st ad trner lol!" -The lol seizure- "lol I know lol, did u see lol that lol, zomg lol, lol" -The please look at me because I think this class ability is amazing because I'm the one doing it- "lol 1k crit on earth shock, pyroblast, execute, etc.." -The, NO, please look at me response- "oh yeah LOL, 2k crit on earth shock, pyroblast, execute, etc.." -The most annoying lol- Crazytwinkies whispers: "man you are powerful, plz can I have some gold, lol" -The second most annoying lol- Crazytwinkies yells: "LOL Plz naked dance Party in " -The please have mercy on me- "Is anyone running MC and need some DPS.... lol" -The intruder- Crazytwinkies whispers: "lol" Crazytwinkies whispers: "mt, sorry" -The straw on the camel's back- "lolololololololololololololololololololol" -Last but not least- Lol whispers: "I'm your worst nightmare"