There are people across the country acting so smug that they know something the Prime Minister doesn’t know. The BBC reports on what the Twitterverse is calling ‘lolgate’, which is the apparent revelation that David Cameron needed to be told that LOL does not mean ‘lots of love’ as he and other older generations would like it to, but in fact means ‘laugh at loud’ according to younger generations. Well I am laughing out loud at them. Most of these people, young and old, are still growing their cyberpubes as Noobs (newbies) who never used the Internet before the start of the century.
The Internet dictionary NetLingo (www.netlingo.com), which has existed since the early 1990s, when I started using the Internet, makes it clear that there is more than one meaning for LOL. They say LOL can mean the common ‘laugh out loud’, ‘lots of laughs’ as well as ‘lots of love’.
In fact, my first use of LOL back then was ‘lots of laughs’. However, I and a small number of other Internet users resented the use of LOL to reflect one’s joy, as we feel it devalues ‘emoticons’. The emoticon ‘:-D’ means the same as ‘laugh out loud’ and, in fact, many Internet chat platforms will using the same computer graphic for ‘LOL;’ as ‘:-D’
So for anyone who thought they were ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ for thinking they knew the meaning of LOL or indeed that David Cameron was “out of touch” for not sharing their meaning, I think the last laugh-out-loud is on you. To Internet scholars like myself I am glad he is not going with the crowd, who are still novices on the Internet who lack the depth of exposure to Internet culture of veterans despite how clever they feel.
Whenever I get the opportunity now, I’m going to write that LOL has different meanings to different generations. To older Noobs it means ‘lots of love’ and to younger Noobs it means ‘laugh out loud’.
The tip of the iceberg is that John Prescott, as reported in that BBC article, wants a freedom of information request to access David Cameron’s text messages. Would he be happy for all the recorded minutes of his cabinet meetings to be made public? I doubt it. So I sent him this tweet below:
WTF Doesn’t @johnprescott have a life? http://t.co/baJnwjhA IMHO he should ALTG There is life beyond politics. FFS JAD for him it seems! :o)
He has not responded, I guess he is not as with it as he thought, as there is so much to learn beyond LOL. Maybe he could buy a paper copy of Netlingo to look them up with in a more familiar format.