What is LOL?

Curmudgeon Alert: Mr Triv is a little cranky in this post.


I was having some difficulty sleeping – which is when I came across this site where you can post education questions and look for someone on the net to answer them. I guess the subjectivity of Wikipedia just isn’t enough for some people. I think this site aspires to create an online community and be the Craigslist of education.

What I particularly noticed was the nature of some of the questions. The variable grammar and syntax made me wonder if the questions weren’t being hacked at first by some kind of word-bot: “What are the reason for decline within reading traditions?” After a bit more reading it became clear that some of these were written by students with English as a second language. However, it also became clear that other students didn’t have a first language.

Some of the questions are intriguing, “Can you still get into a pretty good college with one D on your report card?” and others are puzzling because they make one wonder why the asker didn’t crack open An example of this is “What is a benefit?” There were some left of field beauts like: “I need some with writing a letter cancelling a trip to Mexico” and this one, “I need help! How to disprove or approve the rumor of Jose Rizal sired Adolf Hitler.”

The Hitler asker got a very detailed answer ending with these two sentences.

“There has not been any indication or proof in his well documented travels that Rizal was ever in Austria at the supposed time of conception of Adolf Hitler.The Jose Rizal-Adolf Hitler connection seems due to the slight resemblance of the two in terms of hairstyle.”

Another fave:

Q: Can you define and use in a sentence the word sesquipedalian?

A: Considering their length, the words “floccinaucinihilipilification… and “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilic… are good examples of sesquipedalian words.Don’t be a sesquipedalian orator, as you will quickly lose your audience.

But among the most perplexing for me were the the following three.

Q. What does the phrase, “Little things amuse little minds” mean?

Okay, perhaps asked by someone who doesn’t speak English. It seems obvious and would need only a bit o’ thinking through. The next is in a similar vein.

Q. A STITCH IN TIME SAVES NINE, does anyone know what the heck this is supposed to mean??

Clearly, this asker does speak English. The shouty beginning, the use of “what the heck” and the double question marks point to some ‘tude in the question. My first reaction to that is – “Work it out yourself, smart aleck.” My second more teacherly answer is, “Work it out yourself.” Unless the asker is so completely stuck in some kind of fannish science fiction mode and the saying sounds like, “A stitch in the fabric of the time-space continuum can save nine parallel universes”, then what the heck could it possibly mean except, “Put a stitch in something that needs it now to save it ripping further and requiring more work later.” Maybe he or she has never stitched anything. Or seen anyone stitch anything. Or seen a stitch. Yeah, that’s it. This person has never seen a stitch.

But my absolute fave is number three:

Q.What the hell does everyone mean by lol?

OMG. WTF. You don’t know what lol means? You posted a question on an online forum and you still haven’t worked out lol. And more than that, you go in with “What the Hell?” as your opening. Okay, clearly I’m tired, I said that at the beginning, and I am a little cranky, but I believe that asking a question might require one of three things.

1. Exhausting every neuron of your brain first.

2. Exhausting every other research opportunity you have before posting that question. A basic Google search on LOL will reveal the answer in no time flat.

3. Asking the question with some kind of basic cilivilty. Who asks ‘What the Hell?’ and expects an answer? Gah!

Elevate the Insignificant
Mr Trivia

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