When I was first chatting on the internet in my late teens – the late 90s – I remember when internet speak and acronyms burst onto the scene. If I don’t already feel old saying that, I surely will as the years pass.
I have to admit, I got caught up in it all in the beginning and I was ‘loling’ away. Even then, however, I noticed that there were those who would write “heehee” or “heh;” some dudes even did “HAAAAA.” For a little while I would use ROFL or LMAO or even the extreme LMGDMFAO, which is super nerdy, but it didn’t take long before I found a different system that totally worked for me and has until this day.
What I use is the Haha System. I’ve found haha and variations thereof works to signify actual laughter or appreciation of humor.
“Ha” is both a nod to something being said in jest but it also can be used in short sarcastic bursts, as well.
Haha is your go-to response. You can add this before or after any sentence as a way of saying, “Yeah totally.” Or, “I’m laughing at what I just said.” And lastly, “This was intended as a joke.” This is pretty crucial, if I do say so myself, since anything and everything can be misinterpreted in online chat or texting.
Hahaha denotes real laughs coming now. A hahaha with an exclamation point is one step beyond that.
If I type, “HAHAHAHA,” this is the equivalent of LMAO. And anything beyond that – more hahas, exclamation points, bold, etc, I’m going crazy with laughter.
I dunno, it just works!
With the Lol System, it’s hard to tell – in my opinion – if a person actually thinks what you’re saying is funny, but particularly if a person overuses it. I suppose the overuse should tell you. If every time you say something and a person has no response or doesn’t know what to say and responds with “lol,” chances are it’s not actually funny. And this goes for, “haha,” as well!
Aside: I will refrain from going on too much of a tangent on notorious Conversation Killers but couldn’t help but put this in. Just know that if your only response to a person’s descriptive paragraph is, “Oh,” “I see,” or “I hear ya,” there’s hardly a good way to come back from that. If people say that to me in an online conversation, I flat out stop talking. Message received.
I’ve actually written back to people and said, “But are you laughing outloud?” Someone I know used to make fun of “lol” by pronouncing it like the word loll. So he’d exclaim, “Loll!!” to demonstrate how ridiculous he found this expression. I always had to laugh.
I think one tick in the plus column for the Lol System is that it is universally recognized. Everyone knows what you mean. Moreover, it’s more succinct. A LMAO doesn’t take up as much time or space as “HAHAHAHAHA.” Usually that would appeal to me, as I am a practical woman, but for whatever reason, I don’t use it. But I will use acronyms like FTW. I’m a big fan but I think it’s because I simply like the phrase, “for the win.” Anyway, this whole online laugh thing is totally a matter of preference. I’d love to hear from those of you who are devotees of the Lol System. (Paging Scott…)
I thought of one more reason I prefer the Haha System over the Lol System. I think for me, the alliteration with the Haha System says to the other person that I really do think something is funny, over using an acronym like ROFL. Because no one is actually rolling on the floor laughing.
Don’t forget about the people who refuse to use either system and have come up with their own way of doing things. I’d be fascinated to hear from someone who does that.
As always, thoughts/comments/feedback are welcome! Happy Wednesday, haha. (See what I did there?)