May 16th, 2009

Am I the only person who is sick of the mirth-free acronyms that people use online to demonstrate that they recognize humor when they see it?

A friend of mine, Shadoe Stevens, sent me a joke via e-mail and I pretended to take it seriously, so he sent it back with LOL appended to it.  I wrote back ROTFL, and he hadn’t ever seen it before.  (For those of you who are fortunate enough to be in the same club as Shadoe, it stands for “rolling on the floor laughing.”)   Well, obviously, he’d also never seen ROTFLMAO, which is short for “rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.”  So I sent him that one, too.

He responded with ROFCOBASU, “rolling on the floor coughing up blood and sobbing uncontrollably.”  I sent back ROTFIHDWFAMJBGB, which obviously stands for “rolling on the floor in hysterics dusted with flour and magarine just before getting baked.”  (I was hungry.)

Further suggestions included:

HBASWSHIWB, short for “holding back a smirk while Sean Hannity is getting waterboarded”

SFIBILEIIJBDWSF, “so funny I’d burst into laughter even if I’d just been diagnosed with Swine Flu” and

LOLSMTTWCOTSWIWR. “laughed out loud so many times that the waitress came over to see what I was reading.”  (That actually happened; I was in a coffee house.)

Any additional suggestions?  Let’s liven up the online discussion.  “LOL” is the online equivalent of the guy who nods thoughtfully when you’ve made a joke and says, “Funny.”

Come on — let’s hear some new ones.

16 Responses to “LOL/Not”

  1. Jen Forbus Says:

    This is an excellent point about how words (or in this case acronyms) lose their effectiveness when we overuse them! I feel this way about a lot of profanity. What power does it have if you use it every other word???

    Sorry though, Tim, I’m not creative enough to top yours and Shadoe’s additions to the texting-age acronyms. But this was fun!

  2. Lisa Kenney Says:

    These are hysterical! I’ve never been an “LOL’er” either so I appreciate the alternatives. The ones that came immediately to mind are too disgusting and childish to list, so I’ll just enjoy these and wait for more.

  3. Suzanna Says:

    I wish I could liven up the discussion with a really funny acronym but at this hour all I can admit to with the least amount of embarrassment is:


    Think Felix the Cat Theme Song and you’ll get what this chain o’ letters means.

    If it doesn’t make you laugh, I’ll settle for a smirk or a guffaw.

  4. Suzanna Says:

    Okay, for those who have forgotten the theme song from Felix…

    You’ll laugh so hard your sides will ache your heart will go pitter pat, watching Felix, the wonderful cat.

    That’s all folks.

  5. Larissa Says:

    All I could think of was really dark ones that sort of make you go “aw…”

    I think my new LOL is going to be mashing the keyboard and then snickering to myself while the other person tries to figure it out. 😀



  6. John Dishon Says:

    tl;dr (too long; didn’t read)

    But really, it’s ROFL, not ROTFL, as in ROFL COPTER!

  7. Sharai Says:

    Suzanna, thanks for bringing that one back to memory! It made me LSHIPMPJLFUT! But Virginia, what were you doing up all night?!!!!

  8. suzanna Says:

    Virginia, Could barely believe it myself but I was giving moral support to a certain high schooler writing a paper. By that afternoon I was hallucinating but said high schooler finally finished what she began to regard as “her first born child.”

    Okay, your turn. What does your chain o’ letters mean?

  9. Timothy Hallinan Says:


    There are obviously topics that bring out the worst in people, even people I like.

    First, not to go in any order at all, thanks to John for the correction — ROFL is a LOT less irritating than ROTFL — and for the Wikimedia link, which leads to something that’s quite funny and was obviously created by someone with acres of time on his hands. (And nice to hear from you, John.)

    Suzanna, you’ll receive a bill after Memorial Day for the surgery I had to undergo to remove that f**king Felix theme song from my frontal lobe. (I paid extra to have them transplant it to the sole of my foot so I can step on it over and over and over and . . .) And Sharai, I can figure out LSHIPMP, which is actually kind of great, but JLFUT defeats me.

    CONTEST!!! CONTEST!!!! A copy of BREATHING WATER to the person (other than Sharai, obviously) who tells us what LSHIPMIJLFUT stands for. Let’s see whether anyone reads these replies I slave over. Over which I slave.

    Riss, PLEASE give us some dark ones that make us go “AWWWW”. But I’ve copied MTKATSTMWTOPTTFIO and will use it to drive people crazy. If I could make a suggestion, though, it might be better if you mashed someone else’s keyboard before snickering.

    Jen and Lisa, wiser than the rest of us, resisted the opportunity to make fools out of themselves in this public — well, semi-public — space. I’m going to write a thriller in which a writer’s website draws so few people that terrorists begin to use it to pass each other messages.



    Anyway, thanks to all. IKIGFYPAI.

  10. suzanna Says:

    OKay, Tim, I wasn’t counting on disdain but it’ll do.

    I think I know the first half of Sharai’s LOL acronym. Can I get half a copy of Breathing Water?

    Here goes the first half: Laughed so hard I peed my pants ? JLFUT, no idea.

  11. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    I think you’re right about the first half — that was my reading, too.

    So I’ll get you half of an ARC of BREATHING WATER as soon as I finish cutting out every other page.

  12. suzanna Says:

    One thing I do when I get an ear worm is replace the pesky song with another. How about the theme song from The Adams Family? Don’t forget those catchy finger snaps!

    Their house is a museum.
    When people come to see ’em
    They really are a screa-um.
    The Addams Family.

    Neat (snap)

    Sweet (snap)

    Petite (snap)

  13. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Suzanna —

    You are so dead. Just keep looking over your shoulder, because sooner or later, I’ll be there. And just before doom comes down, I’ll whistle a few bars of “Stayin’ Alive.”

  14. Sharai Says:

    I really think Suzanna deserves the book. She called me today to let me know what a flurry of excitement our little buddy Felix has caused. I offered to give her hints, I offered to tell her outright what JLFUT means. She wouldn’t have anything to do with it, ‘that would be cheating’, she said. With ethics like that she deserves to win your book, (although I don’t know how anyone who uses innocent theme songs so maliciously can really be so ethical! And why does she know all the words and snaps!) Please send her the book! She’s been my BFF since WHNT! And that was a long time ago!

  15. Peter Says:

    ROTFTIBMP when I read your post, which obviously means rolled on the floor til I burst my pancreas.
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    “Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”

  16. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Peter — Thanx for the addition to the LOL/NOT museum. I’m collecting even more creativity-short acronyms for a follow-up post that I’ll probably NGATW. (Never Get Around To Writing)

    Thanks for the nice BREATHING WATER piece on Detectives Without Borders. I really appreciate it.

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