October 24, 2004

Things I Hate: LOL, OMG etc.

The use of these new age so-called abbreviations is worse than those who don’t know the difference between it’s, its and ITS (IT Services, perhaps).

And then on MSN, there’s this awlful emoticons things which allow people to just reply using strange, meaningless symbols, leaving me to, effectively, talk to myself. First sign of madness.

How difficult is it to use English words, capitalise proper nouns and the start of a sentence and generally type in a respectable manner? Do you people actually type at a speed of three letter per minute such that it becomes impossible to do so? And wouldn’t a few words offer more comfort than a picture of an image of a smile?

It all very bad.

- 52 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. Sweet.
    Someone else who realises just how stupid this stuff is.

    PS. Get some sleep. Apparently it's good for you.

    24 Oct 2004, 03:20

  2. A picture is worth a thousand words, i don't think i can type a thousand words each time I want to use an emoticon. I don't tend to use them just on their own as reply though, they usually come at the end of a sentence in my case to portray how my sentence should be taken.
    As for abbrieviations they just make life easier, but there's definitely a time and a place for them!

    24 Oct 2004, 09:10

  3. I never use LOL simply because I never do when I'm reading through stuff on the internet, I might use heh (not an abbreviation) but that's about the limit. The one bad habit I have got into is not capitalising the first letter of any msn ramble (any subsequent sentances in the same message will begin with a capital) but I do abhor the non-capitalisation at any point of the personal pronoun.

    24 Oct 2004, 11:33

  4. My god calm down! It's only a way to show how you are feeling. It is very hard to show if you are joking or happy or sad about something otherwise.

    Take the following

    "I have an exam tomorrow"
    "Oh good luck"

    That could mean good luck, as in "no bloody chance of you passing that mate"
    or "No, I really mean good luck. You'll be fine"
    or "what ever, why do I care and good luck seems appropriate"
    or "Good luck with surviving it those exams are shite what a pity you have to take them"

    Emoticons are just a quick excellent way of showing how you mean a sentance.

    24 Oct 2004, 12:13

  5. Ah, but often emoticons are too emotive, often resulting in an extreme display of affection or anger that was never intended. The worst offender is any example of the eye-rolling emote, I hate these with a passion because no matter how harsh they are intended to be, they will always appear as the worst option (ie the person thinks you're a stupid moron with no education and you have no chance to procreate, ever).

    24 Oct 2004, 13:35

  6. David Saunders

    At least the pictures are better than the :), :( things people used to use before MSN.

    24 Oct 2004, 14:06

  7. Maybe you should have written Microsoft Network Messenger instead of MSN? Let the grammar facism begin!! I have an A for AS English Language and Literature and I'm not going to bother complaining about lol's of lmao's because everyone thought txt msgs would be the end of the English language and then predictive text brought them all back into the spelling fold.

    24 Oct 2004, 15:53

  8. If you want to be so correct, then surely you shouldn't say things like "I'm" or "I've", but rather "I am" and "I have". Things like lol simply allow for some faster typing and the reason people use them, is because they have integrated themselves into the language just like "don't" did.
    So where is the problem?

    24 Oct 2004, 19:33


    24 Oct 2004, 19:49

  10. Does all this new technology make you feel old and uncomfortable? Does it? Hmm?

    Seriously, get over it. A lot of well rounded, well educated people use the abbreviations. Just because I can spare two minutes typing a reply on a blog doesn't mean I want to type "Oh my, I'm laughing out loud at your last sentence that you typed" every time an irreverent comment on MSN makes me chuckle. Or I could not reply, but I guess that would be mean.

    The more annyoing thing is grammar Nazis stumbling into their virtual Panzer tanks and climbing to the top of a better-educated-than-yeow soapbox and proclaiming that the English language should be protected from incursions by passing fads. Sorry mate, it's a lady of the night and it gets dirtier year on year. Just look at all the new entries into the Oxford English Dictionary. (Am I allowed to mention the "O" word on here?).

    24 Oct 2004, 21:11

  11. "How difficult is it to use English words, capitalise proper nouns and the start of a sentence and generally type in a respectable matter?"

    Unfortunately your argument is flawed by the fact that you spelt awful wrong in the previous paragraph. So you're not such a careful typer yourself. Unlucky.

    24 Oct 2004, 21:26

  12. I use emoticons a fair bit on h2g2, but they've got one veeeeeeery long list of them. I always write properly in text messages though, unless they're getting a little too long, when I will use u, @, and occasionally, &

    25 Oct 2004, 00:07

  13. Fascist of course, being spelt thusly: 'fascist'.

    My main beefs are with:
    1) 'your' when people mean 'you're'
    2) 'looser'/'loosing' when it's 'loser'/'losing'
    3) and using apostrophes when trying to pluralise something

    25 Oct 2004, 00:11

  14. Yeah, but it's not as bad as people who pronounce the words as "crinimal" and "nucular"...

    Oh, and grammar fascists worse than actual fascists? Let's ask the population of Poland, shall we?

    25 Oct 2004, 11:31

  15. Sheesh, 'LOL', 'OMG' and emoticons are so minor. It's when they start talking like:

    "What are you up to?" = "wot r u up 2?"
    "Hey, that's pretty cool" = "hey, dats pretty kool"
    "Are you going out tonight?" = "r u going out 2nite?"


    25 Oct 2004, 14:48

  16. yes- the first time someone texted me l8 for late it took me half a minute to work out what they meant. I think that when someone texts me lol they mean lots of love though, given who's sending it ;)

    25 Oct 2004, 15:51

  17. I think that if anything is actually funny enough to make me laugh out loud, it deserves a full sentance. Anything that isn't funny enough to make me laugh out loud is NOT gonna make me say that I am. And don't pick me up on "gonna" because that's what I actually SAY in verbal communications, whereas I've never heard anyone say "LOL" in a conversation.

    PS. I happened to be up at 3:20 because I was pissed as a newt.

    25 Oct 2004, 16:21

  18. Heather

    I don't mind occasional 'typos', however deliberate poor spelling and lack of punctuation to try to look cool simply looks stupid in my opinion. Quick typing can not be blamed either, as a lot of abreviations used are only one or two letters shorter than the correct words. Here is an example of what would annoy me:

    'I totally agree wiv u i usually hang around wiv ppl who are older than me even at skool so I'd like 2 think it didn't matter besides other ppl online were surprised about my age so I guess I don't need to worry about being young coz I feel a lot older lo l:D thanx ppl u've all been a gr8 help :D'

    However I do not mind the use of emoticons too much, as it is difficult at times to interpret how a person intends for their sentence to sound without the visual aid of a facial expression (or being able to hear inflections in their voice).

    25 Oct 2004, 16:35

  19. There's a time and a place for shorthand typing like lol. There's never a time or a place for AOL-speak like OMG WTF I IS TEH 1337357 HAX0R WLF LOL OMG!!!111!!111!!11! and such people should be banned from keyboards.

    As a general rule I always use full sentences for forums. For MSN I take "pseudo-shorthand": drop punctuation where it can without making the meaning ambiguous. Bear in mind an emoticon is a picture, and a picture makes a thousand words. (But then that's a stupid argument as this suggests that The Two Towers was a book of about 260 million words.)

    26 Oct 2004, 00:01

  20. Er… yeah… so why are pictures in my entry?

    26 Oct 2004, 00:03

  21. Pictures can be quite good.

    Good grief, I don't sound like a grammar fascist. Go me.

    Where's Eats, Shoots and Leaves when you need it?

    I can't stand emails written completely in Netspeak. They are most often unintelligible.

    I can spell. Really, I can. :)

    See, emoticons can be good!

    26 Oct 2004, 11:17


    …. nuff said :P

    26 Oct 2004, 14:03

  23. Eugh, people who type exclusively in capitals. I would probably block someone if they did that regularly. Am I the only person who experiences physical pain when trying to read CAPITALISED TXTSPK? Is it really so hard to take your left hand from whichever part of your keyboard/desk/anatomy it occupies to depress the 'Caps Lock' key? If I ever get into government I'm going to make it illegal to own a keyboard with a capslock key without a license.

    As for text shorthand and 'net (see what I did there?) abbreviations, I don't mind an occasional sprinkling, nor do I complain about missing capitals or dropped punctuation. And as for emoticons… well, fact is people can't always see your expression over the internet, or hear your tone of voice, and the occasional smiley can make the difference between a happy friend or an offended friend. Watch:

    (1) Lighten up you fascist
    (2) Lighten up you fascist :-P

    While you could take offense to either, the second example is more likely to be interpreted as being lighthearted and playful (which indeed it is). And it only took an extra two characters and one second, as opposed to weeks of unanswered phone calls.

    So shoot me, I'm criminal. :)

    27 Oct 2004, 00:13

  24. To clarify, I meant for comment (1) to appear with two asterisks around it (as per order for illegal productions). Instead, it appears in bold.

    I can deal with abbreviations, text speak and emoticons, but no HTML?

    27 Oct 2004, 00:16

  25. I don't believe that smileys are required. Anyone who has read a number of books and owns a thesaurus (shall we say anyone above the age of 10?) should be able, with a few second's thought, to choose a synonym with connotations more suited to the mood that they are trying to convey.

    I would like to point out that in the above example, it was clear that anyone who says "lighten up you fascist" is joking, as anyone not joking is unlikely to use the term lighten up or will elaborate, thus making the intent clear via context. I personally am in no way upset at being called a fascist, yet get very angry at seeing a smiley (especially that particular one – are you mocking me?)

    27 Oct 2004, 09:08

  26. NIck

    At least people who suffer from chronic abbreviation can be made fun of.

    lolol rofl OMGWTFBBQ!!!!!1111onetwo

    I mean, 'lol'? Whatever happened to 'haha'?

    Lighten up you fascists!

    27 Oct 2004, 10:05

  27. I think these things are acceptable in some places. In text messages for instance, where you are paying for a small number of characters and need to get a lot into the message. I agree that if you're taking the time to sit and write a post like this or an e-mail you should write things out properly but an extra smiley doesn't hurt anyone, provided they're not over used.

    Things that do really annoy me are:
    'dat' for 'that',
    'dis' for 'this'
    and 'da' for 'the'

    Can we at least have universal agreement on this?

    Is it meant to be an abbreviated way of saying that you can't speak properly?

    27 Oct 2004, 15:19

  28. I occasionally use "t" for "the" in text messages. Then again, I occasionally do in speach, too.

    27 Oct 2004, 15:25

  29. I use "hehe" when I find something amusing.

    I don't like it when people excessively abbreviate because it adds another layer of disguising what the person is saying. It's hard enough figuring out what people really mean in person, in writing it's often harder (unless they're an amazing linguist), when people start abbreviating and using shorthand the message gets lost somewhere between the "l" and the "ol".

    28 Oct 2004, 01:19

  30. Successful communication between friends requires the sharing of emotions. Anyone who reads much will immediately understand how this is achieved in books, where one can describe someone's attitude in separation from their words. However, in the world of instant messaging, smileys have evolved as a standard shorthand. Phrasing one's self more carefully is probably safer, but it also interrupts the stream of consciousness when you have to go back and edit what you said just in case.

    And I don't see how 'net abbreviations are much different from the shorthands used by anyone operating a slower-than-speech communication system; compare 'SOS' in Morse code, or the way blind people combine signs to form their names rather than spelling them out. The bottleneck here is a person's typing speed; lol is an efficient way of communicating amusement without carefully construing and then constructing your response.

    As for abbreviations making it harder to understand people, I don't really have this problem unless people actually type as though they're sending a text message (uncommon and bad nettiquette). Anyone who uses the abbreviations for a short time will quickly learn to parse them, and perhaps even see the beauty of it. Once more, they aren't intended to disguise emotion, but to convey it with due simplicity, as is normal in speech.

    – Jordan

    28 Oct 2004, 09:58

  31. Person1

    lol and omg are totally fine to say
    i mean its totally nt as bd as spkin lyk dis wich is wat i usully do and so duz evryone els cept ma 1 m8 hu tinks its lazy! & da smileys r kl 2. they show so much mor meanin, lyk wen u hav no idea wat 2 say u can put one- or if u cant say sumin cos it wud sound gay u can jus put a smiley.

    13 Nov 2004, 18:17

  32. Hannah Bartlett

    I have to say that this is one of the funniest arguements i have read! the fact that you are arguing over something with such minor importance in the grand scheme of things! half of these comments sound like they are from people who have their own heads up theyre arses because they are judging people by the way they type! not only that they are also just boosting their ego with comments about their own achievements and using a vocabulary that not only makes their arguement boring but without any real meaning!

    yes i use short hand such as wot r u doin 2nite! and i dont believe it makes me a bad person, or illiterate! It just means that i have a open mind.

    15 Nov 2004, 13:07

  33. ringo starkey

    Its just so difficult to read these stupid things, personally I hate the use of "u" more than "lol", its sheer laziness, it makes people look like idiots (maybe they are?)

    13 Jan 2005, 07:24

  34. Jesus Christ


    26 Jan 2005, 14:33

  35. not tellin

    i fink dat lol is gr8 cuz u can say lol wit out avin 2 typ out lol in real wrds !!!!!lol!!!!! i dont care wat over peeps fink im only 12 n i fnk msn rox n so dz u who reads dis site… NOT !

    30 Jan 2005, 10:56

  36. wtf

    you quys are ass wipes learn how to respect others f**k off

    17 Feb 2005, 02:20

  37. hypaaaaaaaaa

    ello! im 12 too n i dnt use the word lol. i use lolz. it soundz betta. bi bi now xxxxxx

    19 Feb 2005, 17:54

  38. Sam

    [quote]Richard Jephcote

    Maybe you should have written Microsoft Network Messenger instead of MSN?[/quote]

    Does this guy realise that the acronym for Microsoft Network Messenger would be MNM and not MSN?

    09 Mar 2005, 20:10

  39. rebecca

    ello i luv msn letters like sparkling k and stuff well bye x x x

    14 Mar 2005, 17:24

  40. julie+leanne


    14 Mar 2005, 17:27

  41. Yvette

    i use lol so all u lot jst get over it it does mean sumfin u know. so stop bein stupid the lot of ya

    09 Apr 2005, 10:00

  42. Brooke

    I always use lol and things like that…but i can see how it can get a little anoying to people…it is always bugging my mom and dad when i use it, they just say i'm lazy and to stop talking like that. I'm also only 12 but I can relate to all of you who dont like it.


    17 Apr 2005, 07:34

  43. Akira

    Although it is obvious that some of you possess some intelligence, I must say that you are all ignorant. Whining about how some uneducated ten year old (or teenage girl) writes is bad enough, but arguing about it? Dear lord.
    And before you bite my head off, I didn't capitalize "lord" because I do not believe in Jesus. So there.

    09 May 2005, 03:17

  44. bla bla

    can i just say that lol is just a way of saying that sumfing is funny you know what are we going to type in "oh yes laughing out loud" lol is way cooler that that its just quicker!

    23 May 2005, 19:02

  45. Dave

    I think things such as "lol" "rofl" etc. looks like the person who said don't care or didn't found it funny, i think its annoying when people says LOL LOL all the time, but i don't think they are idiot because of that

    08 Jun 2005, 04:50

  46. Sander

    I think abrevations aren't that bad. I mean, I use them all the time… it just cuts of a minute of writing time when you're typing. In normal conversations I sometimes say LoL but that's not meant as Laughing Out Loud, we just mean it as 'funny' and emoticons are just a way to make MSN a little more fun, it's not fun to be looking at text all the time is it? Once or twice a little smile between the lines makes it more fun to read.

    10 Jun 2005, 18:41

  47. Kjel Sidloski cum on u guys im just a man tryin 2 spread sum luv lol

    cum on im an msner and its easier 2 talk if u use abreviations i talk funny but hey it can make a quik easy conversation and ya smileys all the way sure sometimes smileys can over power ur statement a little but then again it can change a sentence from completely horrible bad friend that kind of thing 2 a nice u no

    18 Jul 2005, 03:04

  48. Sarah

    hi ppl wots rong wiv shortrnin evryfing its easy lol n emotions r gr8 lol neway bibi x x x

    26 Jul 2005, 14:36

  49. Ice

    This is just ridiculous… Get a life people!
    And the comment above is directed both to all the whiners and the 13375p45/<3R5.

    16 Sep 2005, 07:43

  50. Bob


    17 Sep 2005, 19:07

  51. Dani

    u people r wierd. i luv msn its great and LOL is laugh out loud. Its sooo cool. it keeps you talking to peopz (people) and its great!

    22 Sep 2005, 20:47

  52. ani

    ive noticed that not so many people are using the abbrieviations and there are a whole lot of people who think that all us kiddies use things like LTHTT but its just things like 'u' and 'r' and 'rnt' just things like that, we have so much other stuff to do that we dont have the time to write the whole thing, often we are talking to four or five ppl and doing out homework and downloading something and listening to music, so we dont have the time to write you and are we simply write u and r…dont complain

    25 Sep 2005, 10:55

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Who Am I?

I am a 23-year-old Economics, Politics and International Studies student at the University of Warwick, born and bred in Sunderbans, where I studied at Mount Hermon for several months.


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