Are the days of LOL over already? A Facebook study says that the public is now showing a preference for “haha” and emojis over “LOL”.
The survey relates that 51.4 % of the people use “haha”, while only 1.9 % use “LOL”.
Gone are the days of LOL, then? You would be surprised to hear of how old it actually is. While it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2011, it can traced back to the 1980s.
“LOL was a form of early internet slang,” Professor of Linguistics, Vyv Evans, from Bangor University told Newsbeat.
“It’s what’s called an initialism, a form of abbreviation. Using it is obviously more convenient when you’re typing or texting.”
LOL then grew more popular as emails and texting became into use.
Professor Evans explains that language changes over time, and the ways to express laughter online are competing with each other. According to him, LOL is being substituted by what is more intuitive.
“Haha is a form of onomatopoeia – it’s words representing the sound they mean, like miaow or woof.
“Haha is in some ways more apt. It more directly stands for what it represents than LOL.”
Furthermore, he says that “haha” is more universal.
“LOL is based on English, whereas haha is more universal. It represents something that all humans do.”
Additionally, emojis are also preferred. One third of the people take to emoticons to express laughter.
“Emojis provide a greater range of expressing different types of e-laughter, with the different types of smiling faces.”
The transition from LOL to haha also has to do with age.
“Older people are staying with LOL, but younger people are innovating with haha.”
Will LOL no longer be used after a certain time?
“I don’t think LOL is dead,” Professor Evans concludes.
“It’s simply that it’s being competed with for air. And this is what happens with language. It’s conceivable it could come back in the future.”