It’s an unneccessary word that is well past its prime. “LOL” was created back in the days when Internet connections were extremely slow, and people needed shortcuts in order to get their point across.
“LOL” had a simple meaning: “Laughing out Loud.”
“Oh, kind sir, your joke was so enlightening. I want you to know that I am splitting my sides with laughter at this very moment” was a bit too difficult to get across a dial-up connection. So “LOL” was born.
Today, “LOL” is used in many ways that have nothing to do with laughing out loud.
It’s used to end a sentence.
“So what are you doing this weekend LOL”
It’s used to cover up insults.
“Only an idiot would vote for that guy LOL”
It’s used interspersed in complete paragraphs, where normal punctuation should be.
“I had a great time this weekend LOL I went to see that new Underworld movie LOL I bought a salad at Wendy’s LOL I met some new people LOL How was your weekend LOL”
The only people who should be able to use “LOL” in place of punctuation are the following:
1) Extremely nervous people who laugh in between sentences in real life
2) Employees of the Legion of Doom
3) Beavis and Butt-Head
4) The creators of the captions on I Can Has Cheezburger
Since two of those examples are fictional characters, really, only the first and fourth rule apply.
Just for kicks, let’s LOL-up an editorial from Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson:
So far, Romney has not shown that he can connect with and excite voters in the South the way Gingrich does LOL If the bruised battered underfunded Gingrich campaign can survive long enough LOL and if Gingrich can rediscover the in your face mojo that gave him such a lift in the South Carolina debates LOL he could potentially beat Romney in Georgia and Tennessee on Super Tuesday LOL March 6 LOL and in Alabama and Mississippi a week later LOL
See what I just did? I managed to make a Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist read like a 12-year-old.
I know you know where the period is. It’s really close to the L. Just move your finger in a downward, diagonal motion to the right, and there it is. You won’t even have to use the shift-key or anything.
So, please, people of the Internet, please think before you LOL. Thank you.