In the language that I think of as "text-speak", which originated from "chat-speak", the expression "LOL" means "Laughing out loud". The reason that I'm talking about it is because In recent months I've spent a bit more time lurking on a few chat sites and I have noticed that people seem to be using (or over-using to be honest) that expression quite a lot. I am not a hamster nor am I exaggerating.
In one example, I saw "lol" used more than thirty times in half an hour by a group of four people in the chat function of an online game. I won't say it's sickening but at the very least it qualifies as an "appetite suppressant" and a rather strong one at that.
The thing is, overusing something dilutes the value or impact of using it in the first place. I'm quite certain that there are very few, if any, people that actually "laugh out loud" as much as their use of "lol" would indicate.
Then again, it could well be due to a certain amount of laziness, since "lol" is easy to type quickly. Other expressions that in my opinion would more often be more appropriate take more effort and keystrokes to type. For example: *giggle*, *snicker*, *cackle*, *grin*, *evil grin*, *smile*, and *gasp* just to name a few.
Have we become that lazy that we're unwilling to use more than three characters that can all be typed with one hand? First the mind numbing short attention span of most younger people and now this?
I actually hesitate to wonder what might be next.