…about acronyms

In general, I LOVE acronyms. Systems, emotions and codes can all be expressed through a series of letters. It’s glorious, and I embrace it. Today, for example, I could succinctly sum up my morning in three letters: WTF. I tried to take a “short-cut” to work and ended up in a labyrinth of confusion. Impulsive actions never seem to work out for me. Throughout my rage ride, I frequently and loudly (inside my head) screamed, “WTF?!?!” It worked for me. I could channel my frustration without saying the swears. 🙂

I don't know what some of these mean.

While most acronyms delight me, I have a personal vendetta against “LOL.” People overuse and abuse it. It is the text message equivalent of “um.” I mostly dislike it because it has become a lie. You’re not really laughing out loud every time you type “lol.” Sample textual transmission:

Me: I’m so tired.

Other: Lol. Yeah, me too.

Me: What are you up to?

Other: I’m at work. lol.

Really? That made you laugh? Being tired is no joke, and work is not going to be funny when your boss realizes you’re goofing around and fires you.

“LOL” has snowballed into an epidemic. It inspired hybrid acronyms to form such as “ROTFLOL” and “LMAO.” First off, I don’t know any person who has ever rolled on the floor laughing out loud. Picture it. It’s scarier than it is humorous. A person rolling around laughing is probably foaming at the mouth and grunting or doing something equally grotesque. Secondly, if laughter could do what squats haven’t, I would literally laugh my ass off all the time. Alas, it is not so. (Sidebar – doesn’t LMAO kind of sound like an entrée you’d order at a Thai restaurant?)

“LOL” is like saying “I’m sorry” or “I love you.” Only use it when you mean it.



5 Responses to …about acronyms

  1. Courtney says:

    I guess I’ve never put this much thought into if people are really laughing out loud. Do you think people use too many emotions 🙂 🙂 😦 too? I know I totally overuse them…

  2. bethro says:

    Ever since you pointed out how meaningless LOL has become, I notice it everywhere. Comparing it to “um” is very apt.

  3. JR says:

    Fun fact. Acronyms only came to be around the time of production of the automobile. So, whenever someone tries to give one of those urban legend word origins you can dismiss them out of hand. Out loud. And insist that everyone laugh at them.

  4. […] Acronyms are the shortening of a phrase using the first letter of each word of that phrase. As Ashley pointed out Monday, the phrase “LOL” means “Laughing Out Loud” and is usually misused. If I […]

  5. I remember when we used to chat between our cubicles and often overuse the LOL acronym. I used some self control and did not use it to punctuate the previous sentence, or this one.

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