Lol has officially become a word – it is in the Oxford dictionary


(also lol)

Pronunciation: /ɛləʊˈɛl//lɒl/



  • Used to draw attention to a joke or amusing statement, or to express amusement:

    ‘I love how you said ‘coffee is not my cup of tea’. LOL!’

Okay that’s probably not exactly breaking news, I’m usually behind the trend on that sort of thing, lol.

Yes I know it is an infuriating little word!  Those of us who date back to the 80s get quite het up about it. There was confusion anyway back then between Lots Of Love and Laugh Out Loud.  Love fell by the wayside, as it always does (sigh) and we watched with jaundiced eyes as lol bounced into social media. Laugh out loud? At that comment? Please. It wasn’t funny enough to rate more than a smile, tops.

Well, that’s the point. It doesn’t mean laugh out loud and hasn’t for ages. It really is a quick smile, the half-shrug, sometimes wry, “I thought he meant it, lol” or a quick defuse of a comment that might otherwise sound a bit critical, “I hope you’re not going to wear that blue jacket again, lol” and although I resisted it fiercely for a long time and will FOREVER resist lolololol (or at least until it finds its way into the Oxford dictionary) I am finally not only using it but finding it quite handy. At times. In more ways than included in the dictionary definition.

Which just proves that you can teach an old dog new tricks. (Rueful half-shrug and wry smile)

It hasn’t crept into my books yet, and I don’t think it will.  My editor probably wouldn’t allow it anyway. And it will never become punctuation, I’m simply not that much of a smiler and that’s all there is to it.  My hackles still go up lol when I see it used more than once lol in a sentence or paragraph lol because that is simply infuriating. Lol. See? See how silly that looked?


(Oh, and by the by – look at those helpful hints on pronunciation. Are they kidding?)

5 thoughts on “Lol has officially become a word – it is in the Oxford dictionary

  1. I think I used “LOL” back in my early days of internet communication (c. 2000), but I rankled when people would type “oic” instead of “oh, I see” and quickly stopped using “LOL” and switched to “Ha!”, or “Hahaha!” if it was really funny. I’ve always hated text speak and, if character limit is not an issue, I see no reason for adults to type like illiterate children. It was one of my strikes back in my internet dating days. If you can’t type proper English, I don’t expect you to be much of a conversationalist.

    Even on Twitter I try not to use text speak and prefer to split comments over several tweets, if necessary. Even on Twitter “LOL” is frowned upon and only used ironically amongst the people I follow. And that’s how I like it. Why “LOL” when “Ha!” is far more expressive?

    • I do rather like hahaa when I am actually amused 😀

      Lol has its place, annoying a word as it is. I couldn’t, for example, have said “I’m usually behind the trend on that sort of thing, ha!” – lol is more laidback, it, well, lolls. (Groan).

      I can see it will be contentious for a while yet, though 😀

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