What does lol mean?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Captain Kremmen, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    ROFL ZOMG

    yeah.
     
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  3. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    lol @ "Z"

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    ^^ that "lol" is sincere, btw.
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I'm American and I would pronounce it "loll," rhyming with "doll." But there is a regional American accent (a region I have not been able to locate) in which the vowels in "rot" and "wrought" have been leveled into one that is halfway between them. These people can't distinguish between Don, a male name, and Dawn, a female name. This leads to considerable confusion in my office, which has one of each.

    Both portmanteaus and portmanteaux are acceptable plurals. But I think if you're going to use the French plural, you should also replace the missing E in portemanteau.

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    Since the internet seems to have been created for the primary purpose of spreading kitten lore, I'm not surprised that lolcat (which Wikipedia spells in all lower case) would be the first compound built on "LOL."

    I suppose that makes it an acronym. There is plenty of precedent for the elements of an acryonym not to be limited to a single letter from each word, as in "radar," where the RA stands for "radio," and Cobol (still often written COBOL), where the CO stands for "common." So there's no reason why the entire word "cat" can't be included in one.

    Have you asked them about that? It could, after all, be a Hebrew word, or the acronym-like expressions they form from the letters in the Hebrew abjad.

    On the other hand, we Americans have been spoiled by the adoption of our "OK" all over the planet with the same meaning it has here. This doesn't guarantee that every other abbreviation or acronym will be treated the same way, so the Israelis may very well have seized "lol" and changed the meaning.

    (The etymology of OK is not clear. There are several well-documented accounts of its introduction from completely different sources, including political campaigns, trademarks and foreign languages. I have suggested that each one probably reinforced the others so they're all valid.)
     
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  7. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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  8. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I looked it up.
    It started as a typo...a series of !!!!!!!1

    Now it has come to mean a sense of urgency.

    Oh my. We are doomed!
     
  9. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    So typos are now becoming words.
     
  10. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Well, no. The !!!!!!1 is not a word...technically.
    It is being used @ the end of a sentence, to elicit a sense of urgency.

    The world according to urban dictionary....weeeee!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I doubt very much that the Urban Dictionary will ever match the respect of the OED or Dictionary.com. I'm sure that many editors have it bookmarked (although I don't since many of my friends have teenage children who know all this stuff) in order to puzzle out the incoherent ramblings of Texpeak. But their goal is to translate them into respectable English, not to legitimize them.

    Language authorities have to have a sixth sense about the durability of neologisms. The last thing any of us want is to load up our dictionaries with words that will run their course and be out of fashion a year after the new edition of the dictionary is published.

    Our 19th-century predecessors were right about rambunctious (a word with no etymology, flippantly coined in the Wild West to look like Latin to the undereducated), which is still in use, but they were wrong about its contemporary absquatulate, which only shows up in spelling bees, too long to even be used in Scrabble. (Which is sad because it's a great word: to sneak away by bending one's knees to sink below eye level and walking sideways to appear stationary: "My hoss was right here, but he must have absquatulated while we were shooting at each other." It can even claim to have an etymology: "squat.")

    Wikipedia is more in tune with these things than the dictionaries, because its mission is to keep up with current news (whether it's a new weapon, a new warbler or a new word), and also because it never claims to be a reliable authority.
     
  12. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    i believe someone referenced me to urban dictionary a while back, and i wish they hadn't. it is trashy, a good portion of it. when did speaking sleazy become 'cool?'

    agreed lol

    i honestly 'laughed out loud' reading this.
    lol @ my hoss

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    too silly, you are!

    yep

    it's a nice site to reference something quick. but if i want something of more depth and breadth, wikipedia isn't what i turn to...
     
  13. PartyBoy Registered Member

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    I hear mr. Clinton got his balls "fillbusticated" on tv. His wife was standing by his side but I doubt she will be gerrymandering around his private commons in the upcoming erections.
     
  14. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    i REFUSE to look any of that up in urban dictionary.
    i see what you did there. :=}
     
  15. PartyBoy Registered Member

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  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    My friend only uses it after something she has written. It's her signal that it's an exaggeration or some other type of expression that is not meant to be taken seriously/literally.

    It has a great many scholarly articles in several fields of study. Science, music, architecture, linguistics...

    I googled "fillbusticate" and got no hits, although "busticate" is there with several vaguely related definitions. "Gerrymander," of course, is in the dictionary. It's named after Vice President Eldridge Gerry, who, as governor of Massachusetts in 1812, redrew the congressional district boundaries to the advantage of his own party (which one, I don't know). When he finished, he realized that one of the districts looked like a salamander.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "accent," since, by definition, one accent differs significantly from another only in pronunciation. If you mean to include significant differences in vocabulary and/or grammar, then it is a dialect, not an accent.

    If you're talking about using words that people outside of your group won't understand, in order to establish a level of secrecy, that is a cant. Jargon is also full of words that outsiders won't understand, but this is the specialized language of a sport, profession, etc, and the words generally stand for concepts or objects that outsiders are not familiar with, so it is not meant to deceive. The term argot is also sometimes used imprecisely to mean either jargon or cant, simply referring to inscrutable conversations.

    To affect an accent is usually considered improper, especially since the most common use of the technique is to tell a joke at the expense of a particular regional or ethnic population. In the U.K. it can be used to make fun of a social class (from the royals to the street sweepers), and I'll leave it to our British members to decide whether it is rude.

    The major exception is in singing, since, for example, a country/western song sounds much more authentic with a Southern or Southwestern U.S. accent.

    Ah lived in Air-zona fer seven yee-ers when Ah wuz a kee-ud. Ah never akshly tawked lahk a cah-bowie, but Ah larned hay-oo.
     
  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Among other, already mentioned things, compliance with peer pressure.
     
  18. andy1033 Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    In reality like everything you read, it only means what the reader thinks it means.

    3 letters put on a screen can never convey any emotions, or feelings.

    The observer as in the reader of the text will always put there own meaning into it. Thats all the meaning it will ever have.
     
  19. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Many years ago, growing up in the mid-west, when people still hand wrote letters and notes to each other, we had "X"'s and "O"'s which I believe meant "hugs" and "kisses". At the same time we used "LOL" to mean "Lots of Love".
    I am not sure if that usage was widespread or more or less local.

    @Fraggle Rocker - also years ago, I worked with a Lady named Dawn Johnson - most everyone called her "Crockett".
     
  20. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    That's how I have always pronounced it in my head whenever I have read it. I don't read (or talk about) L O L Cats, instead, I talk about (and read) Lollcats.

    And when I read ROFL I read, and say it in my head as something close to roffle - think Scooby-Doo asking for waffles.
     
  21. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Yup.

    I suspect that zOMG came about when someone fat-fingered the left shift key on a qwerty keyboard. PWNED is another one like that. And when I am mocking someone because they over react I might say something like:
    And when you say things to them like: "zOMG you're such a trolly troll, why don't you just go back to your troll hole you trolly troll and stop trolling zOMGWTFBBQ!!!!11!!!!!11!!!!!eleventyone!!!!!!!" you only serve to inflame the situation.
     
  22. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    LOL means you don't know how to use Google.
     
  23. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Urban legend has "Pwn" and "All your base are belong to us" related to certain computer game typo's.
     

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