“Haha” versus “Lol”-So What’ll it Be?

By Chris Gay

So, you’re about to send or respond to a text or email; or perhaps comment on a social media thread. With your thought completed, you now seek to punctuate your words with something to indicate a humorous intent, as you fear your recipient may be too much of a simpleton to grasp the underlying comedy. You now face a choice that will likely define you for years, nay, decades to come.

‘Haha’…or ‘Lol’?

With the exception of the occasional miscreant who insists on bucking the system and utilizing some other suffix to denote a droll post, most of us are going to pick from the two. Why? For the same reason that nobody really wants to buy domain names if they can’t get what they want to end in .com or .net. Indeed, domain merchants practically pay you to take the .infos off their hands.

At any rate, what you go with at the outset of your texting career will almost certainly set the tone for a lifetime. If this last sentence sounds a lot like the one that concluded the first paragraph, it’s because some topics don’t lend themselves well to my self-imposed ‘minimum four hundred words per humor blog post,’ and so filler is required. Even clever-er is that that unnecessary explanation, for that which you likely didn’t even notice anyway, brought me even further toward my goal. In fact it went so well, I’m even tempted to go into the reason one would use ‘further’ in place of  ‘farther’ just then. However that might be pushing it. So moving along, decisions like this take time as well as consideration. As a service to you, let’s take them in turn shall we? We shall.

Lol. What does that even mean? Yes, I realize that literally it expands to Laughing out Loud. But it’s nonsensical. No one actually ‘laughs out loud’ at nearly any of the electronic correspondence he or she receives. Indeed, the funniest thing about a text or email from a friend is likely the ludicrous grammar used by someone who you otherwise thought was an adult of reasonable intelligence.

It’s even more absurd when someone inexplicably uses it after a blatant insult. For instance, you might receive a text reading something like: “Btw thanx 4 the bday gift, but next time don’t get me clothes. U seem 2 have the fashion sense of a far-sighted circus clown. lol.”

It’s to the point where people now believe they can write anything in a message, so long as they tack on an lol. So now texts like these become commonplace:

“It was nice meeting you for lunch after so long, although I was somewhat surprised at how fat you’d gotten. Hopefully, that buffet we ate at will still be able to stay in business. lol”

Or, “Wow, the plastic surgeon really screwed up your nose job. Well maybe now you can get work posing for comic strip characters. lol.”   

Haha, while not ideal, is more practical. It’s used for the most part to compassionately explain that the writer’s intent is not meant to be serious, as it’s sometimes difficult to determine the context of a given message. For example, which one of these two texts would you rather receive?

1) “Dude, the doctor just said my “issue” should clear up on its own in a few weeks. So is it okay now if I call your sister?”

2) “Dude, the doctor just said my “issue” should clear up on its own in a few weeks. So is it okay now if I call your sister? Haha.” 

Or these:

1) “Thanks for letting me borrow your credit card to fill up the Toyota, honey. Oh btw, I also decided to buy $700 worth of Omaha steaks to stock our new freezer.”

2) “Thanks for letting me borrow your credit card to fill up the Toyota, honey. Oh btw, I also decided to buy $700 worth of Omaha steaks to stock our new freezer, haha.”

So you see, there is a measurable difference between the two and, now that you know it, the choice is yours. So as not to influence your decision I won’t give you my own preference, haha.

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Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsbook1book2

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, sponsored minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s written three humor books: Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Recipes with a Side of Sarcasm for the Single Guy. He’s currently writing his fourth humor book, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, along with the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath. He has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. He lives in Connecticut.


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Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)


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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Good post, but I liked your “even clever-er” the bestest.

    • Thank you, haha 🙂

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  3. I read this post completely concerning the difference of latest
    and earlier technologies, it’s amazing article.

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