The term Lol is one of the most used words in social media worldwide at present. From text messages to comments, from video chats to voice calls, everywhere the term lol is used quite frequently.
So the question is, what does LOL mean?
The words “Laugh Out Loud” are shortened and used as Lol for its acronym. The use of lol can be done both as a verb and an interjection, as per the choice. When considered in electronic communications, the term lol can be said to be an everyday slang which is used by almost everyone. Since the term laughs out loud is too long to use in random conversations, the acronym is used. The term lol is mainly used when someone is trying to express slight humor, amusement, or a smile.
The meaning, popularity and the glaze of the term lol have decreased a bit over the years, but even so, it is widely used now in all types of conversation modes and through all medium of communication.
What does LOL stand for?
As per widespread use, the LOL purpose is Laughing Out Loud or Laugh Out Loud. This acronym is quite old, and the earliest records of using it are found back to the 1980s. By the year 1993, the term was already quite popular and occasionally used over many forms of communication, primarily electronic and digital.
However, with continuous usage, the term Lol is no more a breakthrough term. Even though the usage of the term has not decreased, the user does not mean that one is laughing out loud. It is more like an expression when someone is trying to express a funny light reaction.
The usage of LOL
Mainly used as an interjection, the term lol can also be used as a verb. A lot of people use different types of styles to write lol. Some use Lol, some LOL, and the rest use lol. Necessarily, all mean the same thing, and it is not essential to use any particular one. However, sometimes the use of all caps “LOL” means the situation was really too funny, and the person is really laughing out loud or is highly amused. This term does not belong in any formal communication. As in informal, the usage and spelling type is not essential.
As a part of the spoken English language, the term lol is used for expressing humor or sarcasm. Even though no one laughs out loud before or after saying the word, it is still used in the same manner.
Examples of the Usage of LOL
- What a funny joke that was! Lol!
- I lol every time you start singing.
- Watching how he fell while slipping in the carpet made me lol real hard.
Therefore, for those who ask what does LOL stand for? “Laughing Out Loud” or “Laugh Out Loud” is what it means. The usage of the term can be done, as mentioned above.
The term lol, ever since its advent has explicitly been used as an acronym for laughing out loud. With the start of the 20th century, and a lot of people using this term, the creation and the history of the word were easily misinterpreted. At a certain point, many people used to believe that lol was an abbreviation rather than an acronym, whereas the opposite was exact. When the debate was settled, the difference between the abbreviations and the acronyms were pointed out.
This brings us to the next stage of the article. What is the necessary level of difference that determines whether an expression is an abbreviation or an acronym? Let us discuss it in details.
So, what are abbreviations and acronyms? They have mainly shortened forms of various phrases and words. The abbreviations are those where the words are shortened for convenient usage in daily life, like Prof. for Professor or Dr. for Doctor. Meanwhile, the acronyms are shortened phrases where the initial letter of each word present in the phase is used to compress a term, like SCUBA or RADAR. They are also used for user convenience.
The interchange of the abbreviations and the acronyms are always occurring, while there is a massive distinction between the two. As a point of reference, one can keep in mind that acronyms form new words, while abbreviations are just letters.
Since both of them are short forms, the user finds it easier to use them instead of the actual phrases or words. Since both of them are used primarily in informal writings, one should avoid using them while addressing someone formally.
How are Abbreviations different from Acronyms?
Since the usage is quite similar, the Abbreviation vs. Acronym battle is always going on. With the overlap between their similar types, the confusion becomes even denser.
First, we come to abbreviations. By definition, abbreviations are words or phrases shortened, to use easily rather than using the whole word. For example, hr. is used for an hour, Mr. for Mister, and so on.
People use a lot of standard abbreviations in their daily conversations without even noticing it. Some of these popular and standard abbreviations include a significant part of our vocabulary. Let us check a few of them.
Whenever an address is written, people mainly use Ave for Avenue, Apt. for Apartment or St. for Street. While writing the date, the days of the week and the month of the year are mostly abbreviated as Sun., Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat. And Jan., Feb., Mar., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. respectively. Even, for example, the abbreviation Ex. is used. For measurements, the metric system is used in for inches or cm. for centimeters and so on. Even to denote battle, the abbreviation vs. is used, which stands for versus.
All of these short forms are not actual words. Hence, they are abbreviations.
Some typical abbreviations may bring up a question to the mind of few. For example, oz is used for ounce, while lb is used for pounds. Here, there is no relation between the abbreviation and the actual word. So why use it? This is because these abbreviations were started from a long time back, where the shortened form was taken from a different form of those same words.
As per definition, an acronym is a shortened form of a group of words or a phrase, where the acronym itself is a word. This is the primary basis of the difference between acronyms and abbreviations. In simple language, one can consider the simplified names of various institutions and organizations as acronyms.
A lot of acronyms have been created for simplifying the usage, and some of them are widely popular. There are some household acronyms so common that people even forget that the acronym can lead up to another group of words. A typical example is SCUBA. A lot of people say that they are going for scuba diving or want to do it, without knowing that scuba stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
The existence of initialism causes some confusion to the acronyms as well. These initialisms are a series of letters that form an abbreviation, but they are pronounced not as the original phrase or group of words, but as each of the initials enunciated continuously. For example, VIP stands for Very Important Person but is pronounced as “V,” “I,” and “P,” where each letter is enunciated. Some popular initialisms confuse a great deal. For example, NBA, BLT, ROFL are all initialisms. The most difficult ones are which can be used as both. ASAP is such an example. Some people pronounce it as a word and use it as an acronym, while others enunciate each of the letters, thus using it as an initialism or another abbreviation form.
Since acronyms are also used daily, many people understand the expression without knowing the actual group of words or phrases.
Some of the most common examples include-
For Acronyms, the new words are formed. Such as:
RADAR – Radio Detection and Ranging
SCUBA – Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration
LASER – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation
POTUS – President of the United States
GIF – Graphics Interchange Format
SIM – Subscriber Identity Module
ZIP – Zone Improvement Plan
AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
TASER – Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle
In Initialisms, each letter is pronounced. For example:
ATM – Automated Teller Medicine
NFL – National Football League
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
BRB – Be Right Back
IDK – I Don’t Know
A/C – Air Conditioning
AKA – Also Known As
FYI – For Your Information
LCD – Liquid Crystal Display
UFO – Unidentified Flying Object
Therefore, the fundamental difference between an abbreviation and an acronym is that the acronyms form new words itself, while abbreviations are just short forms of words, pronounced only as such. This is why LOL is an acronym and not an abbreviation. It is sensible to use these short forms over conversations made informally but should be avoided for formal discussions.