Way back when I first starting using the internet for chatting and instant messaging, I often typed LOL when I thought something was funny. It was akin to a smiley face in my mind. If someone told a good joke, I would respond with LOL. Later on in my chatting career I wanted to find an easy way to say that I had actually laughed out loud, instead of just saying it was funny. I then realized that I had been misusing the acronym that literally meant you had laughed out loud. Since this realization I only use LOL if I have actually laughed out loud at something, but I began to wonder if that was true with others.

If I had misused it, who was to say I wasn’t the only one? This got me to thinking, what about ROFL? I have a hard time believing that someone would actually fall onto the floor because they were laughing so hard, and still have the presence of mind to type ROFL. LMAO is even less believable. If that really happened there would be serious issues to address. If your hindquarters really dropped to the floor because you were laughing so hard, it is very unlikely that you would think to type LMAO.

My conclusion is that there is nothing wrong with using those acronyms, but in an effort to communicate more clearly we should probably redefine them. When someone uses LOL, they probably mean “that was funny.” When they use ROFL they probably mean “that was very funny.” When someone types LMAO, you might want to consider referring them to someone who can help.


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  1. ROTFLMAOSHTIC.There’s you one ;) You know who to ask if you can’t figure it out :P

    Comment by Tammie on July 23, 2002 @ 4:33 pm
  2. Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off so hard that I cry!

    And I’ve never even seen that one before. I’m just good that way. Yeah, I think I’d cry too if my ass fell off. Gluteoplasty doesn’t sound like much fun… how would you sit down afterwards?

    Comment by Levi on July 23, 2002 @ 5:45 pm
  3. YAY,you guessed.Now you get a prize ! First I have to think of the prize :P

    Comment by Tammie on July 23, 2002 @ 8:02 pm
  4. OK, I’ll be patient, but only if you promise to come up with a good one.

    Comment by Levi on July 23, 2002 @ 10:13 pm
  5. Well,if you liked things like ghost stories and things like that,then I could give you a free memebership to my site :D If not,than I’m still

    Comment by Tammie on July 24, 2002 @ 8:21 am
  6. I rarely actually laugh out loud when i type “lol” (i didnt there :P)

    i have literally rolled on the floor laughing but i didnt want to fall to the floor so i just sort of sat down and layed… then i rolled…
    this just made my brother think i was insane, but it was funny. lol (literally whilst i was typing that… and this…)

    Rolling on the floor laughing your ass off is jus a metaphor.. no1 does that

    So in conclusion:
    LOL = i occasionally laugh
    ROFL = only when im feeling crazy or if im on my webcam and i feel like having a laugh
    LMAO = NEVER – its a metaphor :P

    Comment by Tom on September 19, 2002 @ 12:03 pm
  7. “When someone types LMAO, you might want to consider referring them to someone who can help.”


    LMAO is a metaphor for – that you are actually laughing in real life.
    I find it hard to believe that most times when someone types LOL that they actually are laughing out loud – they just abuse the phrase like mad… But when people are typing LMAO then I do believe they are actually laughing…

    Just my thoughts. :p

    Comment by Zapp on February 18, 2003 @ 4:38 am
  8. rotflmaocadpmptin -_-”

    Comment by Big D on October 29, 2003 @ 10:20 am

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