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LOL or HaHa – What’s It All Mean for Freelance Writers?

lol or hahaThere’s been a flurry of news about how LOL is being replaced by HAHA (which probably should be written lol and haha). I’m not sure why this is news, but then I’m often not sure about the news these days which is a whole other discussion.

I thought I first heard about it on NPR, but now can only find an article titled FYI: OMG And LOL Are Now In The Oxford English Dictionary. That was written way back in 2011 (four years ago is certainly almost ancient history in internet time) and had we thought about it probably signaled the end of lol.

Blame it on Facebook

Michael Andor Brodeur who writes for The Boston Globe  explains in The sound of old people laughing: lol, that we have Facebook to blame for this switch, or maybe for noticing that the switch was happening.

According the Brodeur, who admits to lol-ing a lot,

Lols account for just 1.9 percent of “e-laughs” in the week’s worth of de-identified posts surveyed by Facebook for the study.

Well, okay. I suppose it’s futile to ask ‘whose counting.’ I’m sure it’s one of the new robots that may be taking over our world using a super-secret algorithm of course.  (I love the graphic they have for the article.)

I will admit to noticing, barely, that my millennial and wonderfully geeky granddaughter uses”he he” when she Skype chats with me. Brodeur refers to this as “… the more mischievous “hehe”” which definitely fits. I may be wrong about the spacing she uses.

What, if anything, does this mean for freelance writers?

I’ll make a few observations. Take what you like and totally ignore the rest.

  • This proves absolutely anything can be turned into news, a blog post, and/or an article which is why you never will run out of ideas.
  • This is also an outstanding demonstration of how language changes – although the purists still won’t want to admit it does.
  • I missed what might have been a huge opportunity for not writing about my granddaughter’s switch to ‘hehe,’ which proves something, although I’m not sure what.
  • Because I do like to appear ‘with it,’ (Gasp! I’ll bet ‘with it’ is terribly passe now too!) I will make an effort to switch, but I can promise you I won’t remember that change every time, so expect more lols and rofls from me and don’t complain, please.  (Insert image of me frantically trying to decide if it’s lol or haha.)
  • It is wonderful to be distracted from the grimmer side of the news with stories like these.
  • Like so many things, in the larger scheme of, oh say 100 years from now, this will matter not a whit – but since it’s on the net someone will probably get their PhD as a result of writing thesis about the change.

Ach! Enough!

What’s your take on this, or any other topic of interest and maybe even importance to freelance writers? Let’s talk about it in comments.

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