“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.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out my new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

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.

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

On Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

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

Pulp Fiction. Or at Least a Reasonable Facsimile

by Chris Gay

Dawn broke on a new day in the old silk town situated just east of Hartford, Connecticut. Morning comes early here in the east. In fact, it consistently gets here three hours earlier than it does in the west. But you’re not here for a geography lesson. Actually now that I think about it, rarely does the west coast get to see an actual “live” performance of Saturday Night Live. Although that, too, is irrelevant; so we’ll move on.

As I got myself out of bed and headed for the door to retrieve the morning paper, two thoughts occurred to me. Firstly, (yes it’s a word) why do I bother with the paper when anything that could possibly be in it I’d already have learned through my computer, cable TV, & cell phone the night before? Secondly, (also a word, but I’m guessing most of you knew that) I was hungry. So, I decided to do what the men in my family have done for centuries, ever since our family’s original patriarch came over on the Mayflower. Or was it the Sunflower? No, wait. Neither. He was Lithuanian.

At any rate, though the rest of this sentence may sound redundant, like my forefathers before me I decided on journey to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts. As an aside, imagine if you were on Wheel of Fortune, that was the puzzle, and you guessed a “G”? I mean technically, there are two G’s in that phrase if spelled correctly. There are also 2 G’s at some point in every trip to space. Or maybe not, though it seems like a safe assumption. But I digress.

With strawberry frosted doughnuts, excuse me, donuts now fully occupying my thoughts, I quickly tossed the paper on the table, grabbed my keys, and headed for the car. Minutes later I was at the counter, cursing myself for holding the door for the woman who now stood in front of me on line ordering a half dozen coffees, each with preparation instructions so unique that they’d aggravate Wolfgang Puck. Had I known this would be the case-and I should have based on prior experience-chivalry indeed would not have survived on this day. It was eerily reminiscent of a garden variety trip to the deli counter; only with pastry instead of cold cuts.

Finally, she was on her way without as much as a cursory acknowledgment to my inconvenience. No matter. I was on the clock. With my anticipation levels having been built up to a crescendo, I looked out upon the racks and instantly found myself wracked with disappointment. (Like that? Racks and wracked are nearly homonyms. In fact, if I could’ve used them as ‘rack’ and ‘wrack’ they would’ve been) But I couldn’t.

So anyway, what I saw was a very sparse selection. I should’ve known this, as when you take a chance on a Dunkin’ Donut’s connected to a gas station, you’re chancing slim picking’s. I mean the assortment, not the singer. He passed decades ago and spelled his surname ‘Pickens,’ in any case.

What I glazed-sorry, gazed-out on was disappointing to say the least. Cruellers (the ‘e’ is optional, but I’m trying for a decent character count here) and Boston Cream. I really hate Boston Cream, and not just because I’m a Yankee fan, as ‘Yankee Cream’ doesn’t sound any more appetizing than the aforementioned. Frankly it sucks. Vanilla Kreme, whose innards taste as if they were harvested from a can of Duncan Hines frosting, are far superior. Alas, there were none. So cruellers it was. I placed and then paid for my order and, not being a coffee drinker, swung by the station’s cooler to grab a Coke Zero. Yes, I do realize that it’s an absurd justification to think diet soda makes up for two large French pastries, but I don’t make the rules.

I paid separately for my aspartame-infused seltzer water and made my way back into the saddle of my 4 liter mount. For one fleeting moment, I considered consuming them right there, but for some unknown reason take-out food tastes better if eaten from your own couch, while reading your antique newspaper. I drove away unhappy in the knowledge that I’d soon be left satiated, albeit unsatisfactorily. What can you do? I thought to myself. It’s been said that Life has its little peaks and valleys. This was a valley. So be it.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out my new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

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.

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

On Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

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

 

%d bloggers like this: