What does LOL mean in WhatsApp, why is it used and since when has it been used?

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The other day, when we saw the meaning of the expression XD and its different uses depending on whether we used it in one type of message or another, we pointed out that although it had a basic meaning, it could be used in different conversational contexts, whether they were real-time conversations or messages. posted on social networks.

And the same thing happens to another queen expression of WhatsApp, Twitter, Telegram, posts in forums and sites, and that it is also more common to hear it even in voice conversations: LOL.

Laugh out loud, digitally

‘LOL’, or ‘lol’, is an acronym (or rather an initialism) of the term ‘laughing out loud’ and a popular piece of internet jargon. It was used for the first time almost exclusively in Usenet -Where did others like ‘FAQ’, ‘flame’, sockpuppet, o’spam‘., but since then it has become widespread in other forms of communication, be it digital or as we say face to face.

But when was he born? Well, as such, long before the first social networks, and basically before the Internet was massively established. On March 24, 2011, LOL, along with other acronyms, was formally recognized in an update of the Oxford English Dictionary, and in their research, it was determined that the first recorded use of LOL as initialism was for the expression “little old lady” in the 1960s.

But Contemporary LOL As such, the one that means the laughter of Laughing Out Loud in a digital environment, was from a message written by Wayne Pearson in the 1980s, from the Usenet archives. And this is the story of its creation:

One day, Pearson logged onto a Bulletin Board System, one of the first forms of Internet chat rooms. “A friend of mine was there and … he had said something so funny that it made me burst out laughing,” said Pearson. al site The Current. “It wasn’t enough to just type ‘hahaha’ in the chat to let her know that I found it funny. So basically, instead of trying to quickly type ‘That made me laugh out loud’, I just typed LOL “.

Pearson’s friend asked him what that meant, he pointed out what the acronyms meant, “and from there he was adopted by the others in the chat room, and in the whole Calgary system “. Pearson’s neologism went far beyond Calgary, and LOL is how we see a common language between people who communicate online on a daily basis, via email or text.

It is also a source of some confusion among young people who understand that is an expression of joy, and some older people who think they are responding to bad news with “Lots of Love”. So let’s see its different uses.

Meanings and uses of LOL

As it teaches us this article from the BuzzFeed website, LOL is not only used to express that you are laughing out loud, but also in these other areas:

  • To start a phrase and / or a conversation either a message or a reply in a chat
  • To close a sentence and / or a conversation
  • To point out that it is not known if any of the interlocutors are joking
  • To review that what you say is not a joke
  • To drop that you’re flirting with the person you speak to
  • To emphasize that you are nervous about the answer that the other person is going to give you
  • To indicate that what you said or were told sounded a bit sinister
  • To signal that you feel uncomfortable with your feelings and how you are expressing them in that conversation
  • To indicate surprise at an answer you didn’t expect
  • To highlight the word or phrase that you have used to indicate that you do not like the answer that you have been given
  • As a substitute for ‘maybe’


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