I had an email today (I sure know how to grab your attention with a dynamic opening statement, don’t I?), which reported that the sender was “LOL”. I get nearly as many of these as I see people “Lolling” when they see me in the street. Amusing as I undoubtedly am, I am suspicious of the literal veracity of the statement. It is probably nearer the truth that in this case and many others, the sender had just been mildly amused by something that I had written, and wanted to convey the information that they had at least noted the attempt at humour, if not actually found it funny.
“Lol” aside from being ubiquitous and therefore annoying, is hardly the best description of the activity, in particular, “out loud” seems a tad redundant. I cannot recall laughing in any other way. Maybe if Margaret Thatcher were to be publicly beheaded, I would laugh so much that my vocal chords would cease functioning, but that is only speculation. There seem to be two other variants of abbreviations to convey finding amusement – roffling and lmaoing. I have, in the past, roffled, albeit on not many occasions. I now, on medical advice, try to avoid it, indeed, very little gets me out of my chair. I find it a very comfortable place to loll and lol (geddit?). I have never lmaoed, and do not believe that this has ever been done by anyone else. I am not sure whether lmaoing is higher on the scale of hilarity than roffling. I suspect that the amusement induced by lmaoing would be very short-lived, and quickly transmute into an expression of incredulity and distress.
I think that we need new expressions to describe degrees of amusement. Perhaps some of you would like to come up with suitable abbreviations to replace lolling and lmaoing, leaving roffling to be pretty much the ultimate accolade, short of dropping dead of laughter, or excreting all of your internal organs in merriment.
Can you suggest shorthand for the following:
- “I read your email and detect that you were attempting to be humorous. While not finding anything note-worthily funny, I acknowledge that you did your best, and will not, on this occasion, report you to the laughter police for underachievement”.
- (This one is really for use when meeting someone in the world outside of the internet). “I am making a noise, which I would be embarrassed to hear if it were played back to me, that may cause you to think that I found your comment to be funny, but is actually an attempt to discourage you from further communication because I find you crass and boring, please go away.”
- “Yes, that was funny and caused me to smile. It did not cause me to “l”, or “lol”, but please do not be discouraged by this.”
- “I am laughing, but at you, not with you.”
- “That was so funny that I have excreted all of my internal organs. Do you have a bag that I can use to keep them in, please?”