(Redirected from Lol)
"LMFAO" redirects here. For the music group, see LMFAO (group).
For the computer game, see League of Legends.
LOL, an abbreviation for laughing out loud, laugh out loud or sometimes lots of laughs, is a common element of Internet slang. It was used historically on Usenet but is now widespread in other forms of computer-mediated communication, and even face-to-face communication. It is one of many initialisms for expressing bodily reactions, in particular laughter, as text, including initialisms for more emphatic expressions of laughter such as LMAO ("laughing my arse/ass off"), ROTFL or ROFL  ("roll(ing) on the floor laughing"), and BWL ("bursting with laughter"). Other unrelated expansions include the now mostly historical "lots of luck" or "lots of love" used in letter-writing.
2 Spread from written to spoken communication
3 Variations on the theme
3.1 Variants of "LOL"
3.2 Translations in widespread use
3.3 Other languages
4 See also
6 Further reading
Laccetti (professor of humanities at Stevens Institute of Technology) and Molsk, in their essay entitled The Lost Art of Writing, are critical of the terms, predicting reduced chances of employment for students who use such slang, stating that, "Unfortunately for these students, their bosses will not be 'lol' when they read a report that lacks proper punctuation and grammar, has numerous misspellings, various made-up words, and silly acronyms." Fondiller and Nerone in their style manual assert that "professional or business communication should never be careless or poorly constructed" whether one is writing an electronic mail message or an article for publication, and warn against the use of smileys and these abbreviations, stating that they are "no more than e-mail slang and have no place in business communication".
Yunker and Barry in a study of online courses and how they can be improved through podcasting have found that these slang terms, and emoticons as well, are "often misunderstood" by students and are "difficult to decipher" unless their meanings are explained in advance. They single out the example of "ROFL" as not obviously being the abbreviation of "rolling on the floor laughing" (emphasis added). Haig singles out LOL as one of the three most popular initialisms in Internet slang, alongside BFN ("bye for now") and IMHO ("in my humble opinion"). He describes the various initialisms of Internet slang as convenient, but warns that "as ever more obscure acronyms emerge they can also be rather confusing". Bidgoli likewise states that these initialisms "save keystrokes for the sender but [...] might make comprehension of...