Language is loose. Spoken word is flexible, and it adapts to the social constructs around us. We used to be much more formal in day-to-day life than we are now, and language reflects that. This is a good thing. Language accommodates change, and as human beings, we’ve changed quite a bit.
Pro change. Anti-LOL
I’m pro change. But LOL gets on my nerves.
1. First of all, unlike other acronyms, it doesn’t really mean laugh out loud anymore. We almost use it as a marker of empathy. It’s gradually become a term of recognition, rather than amusement.
So we end up texting conversations like this:
- Bob: I have an exam today. I didn’t study for it.
- Bob’s friend: LOL. Good luck.
Really? Laugh out loud, Bob’s friend? You laughed out loud at that? Sound escaped your mouth due to the enormous amusement you derived from learning that your friend had not studied for an upcoming exam? Okay. Maybe Bob’s friend is easily amused. Or, more likely, he is commiserating with Bob. He is simply saying: I hear you. Not the end of the world, buddy. Good luck.
2. It has become an actual word. If you want to quickly say “for your information,“ you might say FYI. You’ll say the letters: F. Y. I. We don’t make it a word – fwhy. But we do say LOL. It’s pronounced loll, as in lollygag. Ugh. I HATE it when people say LOL.
3. I miss “ha!” The quick delicious cacophony of ha is lost these days to the monotone LOL. Boo.
But still, I don’t think that texting is killing language, because language has constantly evolved throughout time.
When’s the last time you heard anyone speak this way:
“I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood, make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres, thy knotted and combined locks to part and each particular hair to stand on end, like quills upon the fretful porpentine." –Hamlet
No time zone
In our busy, busy (insert eye rolling here) world, who has time for so many words? Especially fully spelled out words?
We have sped up. We are busy. We live in a no time zone. Our technology is one tiny step ahead, allowing us to manage our work, family, personal and online lives all with one teensy hand held device. Twitter’s 140 characters is the sonnet of our time. And our language reflects this.
Language is communication, and communication to me is about sharing ideas. Sign it. Sing it. Write a letter to government. And, if you can share your ideas without using full words, capital letters or proper punctuation, okay. I don’t love it. I might not even like it, but I accept it.
And to be honest, the first time I saw CUL8er, I giggled. So, I think that means I don’t get to judge LOL. But I do.