In yet another sign of the world economic crisis, the value of the LOL has officially dropped below the : ) benchmark.
The LOL, which stands for “laugh out loud,” originally denoted a strong reaction to humour. The basic smiley, or : ), traditionally denoted a less extreme state: in some cases as little as a courtesy smile or an indication of the user’s own humorous intent.
Data gathered by internet researchers shows that the LOL, or “lol” as it has become known, has now become so devalued it is worth less than the : ).
Experts largely attribute the phenomenon to airheads. “We point the finger at those dopes who punctuate every sentence with ‘lol’,” said Dr Sinter Klaus of the internet group OTOH. “People just over-used it until it had no meaning at all. Didn’t matter whether they were actually laughing, or just making a mildly humourous remark. The way we see it, if you’re not literally laughing out loud, you shouldn’t invoke LOL.”
A man pointed at a graph yesterday, noting that the line was at the top on the left side but near the bottom on the right side, always a conclusive piece of evidence.
The historic reversal in values of the two commodities is partly due to the devaluation of the LOL, but also due to the rise of gaudy graphic smileys replacing the humble text smiley. As the LOL has declined in value, the : ) has simultaneously become more attention-grabbing.
“Faster connections, higher bandwidths, and a generally more awesome intarweb have permitted a proliferation of in-your-face emoticons,” said another person. “They flash, they gurn, they move. And in many cases, these extreme graphic smileys automatically replace boring text smileys as you type them. FTW.”
Some commentators see the devaluation as an inevitable consequence of the unfair demands social networking places on time-poor participants. “People who supply inanities to internet forums don’t have time to waste,” said a teenage girl. “The L and O keys are adjacent. It’s therefore much quicker to type a lol [sic.] than to type a smiley, especially since you’d have to hold down the shift key to get the mouth part. And the eyes. When your time is precious, this kind of shortcut becomes a significant factor.”
“Look at this,” said Dr Klaus, holding up a picture of a smiley rolling its eyes.
Industry pundits are now closely monitoring the fortunes of the ROFL against the ROFLMAO.