Thursday, August 9, 2007
It seems to me that we are obligated, really, to believe that the person who we are talking with on the Internet is actually honest and forthright regarding his or her emotions.
It's a leap of faith, I suppose.
The reason I bring this up has everything to do with this Internet slang – you know, the initialisms, abbreviations, and acronyms – that simplifies typing while at the same time conveying emotion where otherwise feelings could not be expressed.
Case in point: LOL
“Laughing out loud” is something you inadvertently do. Typing, on the other hand, takes initiative. Spitting your beverage onto the person across from you because you think something’s funny – that’s spontaneous laughter. Repeatedly striking the “L” and “O” key isn’t. In fact, I find very little spontaneity in my right ring finger. It more or less does what I request and nothing more. I’ve never awakened from a deep sleep to find it making an omelet or painting a Picasso. No, it usually does what I tell it to do through synaptic nerve impulses traveling from my head, through my spine, down my arm and, finally, into my hand.
Furthermore, it’s not easy for me to believe that when a person types "LOL" he or she is actually laughing at a decibel level audible enough for others to hear it. Is it how the keys are pressed, then? I hardly think so. (Just to make sure, however, I am listening to the “L” and “O” keys as I depress them. Though they make a sound, I would not consider that sound to be indicative of anything funny.)
Laughing out loud means just that, and I should know something about it. Several years ago, I was perusing a copy of The Onion while at a local library. One article in particular was gut-wrenchingly hilarious so, in response, I “laughed out loud.” Not too fond of my outburst was the librarian, of course. And those patrons unfortunate enough to be sitting in the vicinity had no choice but to stare in perplexed awe at my sudden explosion. It turned into a minor uproar, really. I fully expected to be escorted out of the facility though, thankfully, that never happened.
What about LOLOL?
Am I to believe that I said something so funny that you not only “laughed out loud,” but that you did it continuously for an inordinate amount of time? Should I try my hand at the Laugh Factory? Am I ready for the Def Jam Comedy Tour? Or could it be that it’s just easier to keep depressing the “L” and “O” button over and over for added effect?
Beware; with every added “L” or “O” I’m thinking I’m the next George Carlin.
Prior to the Internet, this was the sound one made when trying to talk with a mouthful of potato chips. Now, it pays homage to a comment or situation so funny that not only are you “laughing out loud,” but that this laughter has caused you to change physical locations. I often wonder how, while on the floor and engrossed in laughter, you still have the ability to type? Do you have one hand that stays on the keyboard at all times? A finger? Your right ring finger?
Wow. Now, not only have you changed physical locations, but you have also displaced a major part of your anatomy. Should I be the lucky recipient of one of your ROFLMAO’s, keep in mind it will be me who is LOLing, LOLOLing, and ROFLing, because, quite frankly, picturing you without a derriere is quite comical.