Not unlike emoticons, I’ve had a long and tumultuous relationship with the various forms of expressing your appreciation of jokes in an online format.
I’m talking about three little letters: L. O. L.
I used to boycott LOL for the simple reason that I’m a lover of accuracy. I was not actually laughing out loud. YOU are not actually laughing out loud. Why the charade?
However, I tend to think a lot of things are funny, even if I’m not ROTFL. And I don’t want to be the stony-faced listener who hears a joke and is like, “Hm…K.”
So I started saying “hehe” or “haha” to express my amusement. I’m sure at one point I thought I was super original for this. My world was very small.
But then arose the problem of when I actually DID laugh out loud. Sometimes I would type, “I’m actually laughing out loud,” but in some occasions, even this is too cumbersome.
Which led me back to LOL.
Since then, I’ve relaxed my strict boycott of typed laughter. In fact, I use a variety of terms now, but in my head, they all have very specific meanings. Here is the breakdown of e-giggles:
Ha: That was humorous or awkward. I did not actually laugh, but I might have smiled.
Haha: That was funny (or I know you’re making a joke there). Most likely smiled, still not laughing.
LOL: Actually laughed out loud.
Bahahaha: One of my faves, this means I either laughed out loud and am still giggling, or I just thought it was really clever, even if I didn’t laugh out loud.
Hehe: Any situation where if we were face-to-face I would have said “hehe” in a silly voice.
So as you can see, it’s quite the exact science. Teehee!