1. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Lollum

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Cogito, Mar 18, 2012.

    There is a kind of post that appears more and more frequently. It's annoying at best. When it appears in a forum like this, by writers who should know better, it's particularly grating.

    In Tolkien's fantasy novels, there is a wretched creature known as Gollum, because of the odd gulping noise that punctuates his speech.

    We have an updated version on the Internet, the Lollum, so named because he or drops an odd LOL noise at frequent intervals and inappropriately placed. It seems to be an unconscious tic, or a misguided attempt to appear lighthearted and likeable.

    As I mentioned, this is a forum for writers. Netspeak is discouraged. Practice expressing yourself with actual words, and spell out words such as "you" and "your".

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    Don't be a Lollum.
  2. Unit7
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    Unit7 New Member Contributor

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    I definitely think I am guilty of this. Well I know I really was when I was playing a MMO. Every other thing I said was either followed by a 'lol' or a :p

    I did quit that after awhile but I think I may have slipped back in. I usually don't notice when I do it, but when I do it bugs the hell out of me. It just happens and I don't even realize it at the time.

    If I am guilty of it on here I am deeply sorry.
  3. Gonissa
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    Gonissa New Member

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    I don't really care. Netspeak doesn't bother me unless it's so bad it's incoherent. If others don't like it...well, it's not exactly offensive language. Everyone here is coherent and generally polite. If someone happens to want to add a "lol", whatever. Nothing worth getting worked up about.
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  4. Allan Paas
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    Allan Paas New Member

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    If you want to use them then play a game where writing out long gets you killed (can't think of any other example where their use would be justified). Otherwise do not use them, or are you too lazy to write out full length thoughts? A quality writers should not have.
    Me personally they do annoy, I've never used them myself and never will either (well, 'lol' in some occasions but haven't for years now).
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    That's hilarious!

    I, like Unit, am guilty of dropping a "lol" on occasion, but hopefully not too often. The worst is when someone responds to a message with just "I know, lol" or "yeah, lol" or just "lol" itself.

    Now I'm sitting here imagining having an IM conversation with Gollum as he sits on his cave rock going "lol...lol...lol." It cracked me up.
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex Hey there Contributor

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    I occasionally use the word 'lol'. It is a word that does have it's uses. It is a good shorthand for the appreciation of something funny, and I see nothing really wrong with that. What really irritates me about it is when it's thrown about uselessly, or needlessly, and you don't really see that here. It's far more frequent on networking sites like Facebook.
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma New Member Contributor

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    I've been online in social forum and chat rooms since not long after they began. A well written forum post isn't dry, boorish, an essay etc it is half way between informal speech and informal writing. As we are a writing forum surely we should be aware of the different forms?

    LOL in many forums has become an emoticon (which are available for use here) - it is there to indicate tone and humour in speech which is not face to face. Humour doesn't travel, British humour only travels if it involves hitting cars and flying bras. Speaking from long experience many a forum and interaction on line no matter how well written could've been saved from nastiness and bitterness with judicious use of LOL and emoticons. The infighting that destroys many forums has come about often from misunderstood humour.

    My thought is a forum post that doesn't occasionally use emoticons, LOL, LMAO etc might be a beautifully written piece of literature or an essay but it isn't a well written forum post. It is dull, lifeless and doesn't enter into the spirit of online interaction or recognise the international nature of the forums.

    Concerning netspeak, English has always evolved and will continue to do so. The one those unitiated tend to quote most often is yer or your. A word that has changed a lot from the original ge or eawer (I think and both have accents) through to ye and thou. Yer was a UK English dialect word long before netspeak and is based on eawer so is actually older than even thees, thys and thous. It has an extry in the Oxford English Dictionary. A lot of netspeak unintentionally reverts to the older forms of our language.

    Just like the printing press, the dictionary, movies, TV etc helped in the evolution of modern language so has the internet and mobile phones. I'm not sure it is any more difficult to follow than the Canterbury Tales, Robert Burns, Beowulf etc in their original forms. In a few decades I see it informing the way we all write, so whilst I don't use it on internet forums I'm not wanting to be left behind either. Otherwise in my eighties I will be the Lollum that everyone looks at and smiles, because I just don't know any better.

    I'd much rather have a piece that has a few emoticons, feels like a conversation, an interaction than one that is boring and flat, that feels like a missplaced essay or comes across dictatorial etc The humour is lost and doesn't translate.
  8. Whizp
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    Whizp New Member

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    If I had to chose between ha ha - he he, and lol I would prefer lol or lmao. At least the letters stand for words. It's strange what grates on peoples nerves. The sudden use of Faux instead of Fake irritates me - it's not an English word so why shove it in?
  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I love using lol when I am being sarcastic on the internet.
  10. Trilby
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    Trilby Senior Member Contributor

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    I picked up 'lol' and 'imo' on this forum.

    Who said 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks' Yes you can; even bad ones.
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  11. VM80
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    VM80 New Member Contributor

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    I don't think posts not using them are necessarily boring.

    I also don't think it's wrong to use them on occasion. Humour should speak for itself really, but I've noticed misunderstandings can still occur, and a smilie or a LOL can be useful tools there. ;)
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex Hey there Contributor

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    A surprising amount of communication is passed with inflections and body language. Take both of these away and you just have words - and in work that's fine, but in a more informal situation, like on an internet forum, it is useful to have indicators sometimes. That's why I find the word 'Lol' occasionally useful.
  13. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma New Member Contributor

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    Not all of them of course ;), but when someone misses the point of being 'talkative' they can come across as strident and as more formal than the situation requires. It is a bit like speaking like the Queen in an informal situation - even my RP speaking friends have a different voice for the phone as compared to face to face.

    I mean the posts that make no real effort to interact, and don't do the half write/speak. Those posts can be annoying to others who have evolved a little as those that have evolved too fast can be to those who haven't changed at all. Just like a script, novel, short story, flash fiction, poem, childrens story, epistolary, technical journal, essay etc all have different forms and skills, so do the best internet posts. Just because someone is a great novelist doesn't make them a great forum poster. There is a chap around internet writing forums who calls himself/herself (realised I don't know lol) Goblin. Some internet forums have banned the Goblin's posts and some have welcomed them. An interesting phenomenen has grown round the threads he has started on the boards that have allowed him to stay. His writing engages people and causes interaction. The posts on his threads are the ultimate in stream of consciousness and they have allowed for a lot fun, sharing of knowiedge, pictures, and interaction. On one forum the posts are at over 2,000 on the thread in a very short space of time and not even a small hint of nastiness. He formats his posts very much like our own Mammamaia, and in any other format they wouldn't work. In an internet forum they are perhaps the equivelent of posting literary fiction.

    As Lemex points out a good deal of speech is body language and tone, something emoticons replace in a post.

    Would a Luddite be the opposite of a Lollum then ? I guess they would be those at either extreme.


    Lollum the Luddite would make a fantastic character's name. Everytime he drops a Lol he smacks himself on the head with a club. :)
  14. Eunoia
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    Eunoia New Member Contributor

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    I don't see the problem in using 'lol' or similar things occasionally on here. It's supposed to be more informal than formal (I thought) on here so using them seems fine to me. What really irritates me is when people use it for every other word, like ' yeah lol omg lol so right lol' etc. I've noticed I've picked up a habit from someone outside this forum meaning I end things with 'aha' a lot and I hate it. I must break this bad habit. Anyway, I do agree on the whole with expressing yourself with words rather than emoticons or shortcuts, we are writers after all. And people not knowing the difference between 'your' and 'you're' etc. irritates me so much, brush up on your grammar darn it.
  15. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless New Member

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    You know, even knowing the difference between your and you're, I still catch myself typing the wrong one occasionally. If I catch it, I go back and edit it, but I'm not particularly sure what has caused the typo.

    Though, I'm going to have to agree with everyone else. Lol has transformed from meaning 'laugh out loud' to an easy way to make sure that your words are not mistaken for an insult. Sarcasm rarely goes over well on written word. I'm sure there's a handful of times that I could replace lol with a 'That's awesome' or something similar, but it's one of those things that happens like the your and you're (where I caught myself using the wrong one even in this paragraph.)

    As long as it's not every other word, and as long as it doesn't accompany netspeak, it's tended to become one of those things that people skip over without even registering that they read it.
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've noticed the same and been annoyed as bleep by it, too, cog... same goes for tossing in 'he-he's higgledy-piggledy... can't get my head around anyone who wants to be a writer doing that and thinking we'll take them seriously...
  17. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma New Member Contributor

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    But I presume you don't write your stories, scripts etc using the same forms and punctuation that you use on here ? I've taken the assumption this is your way of adapting a style that works online in internet forums? And it works very well.

    If someone wrote a novel the way you had written this post would you take their writing seriously ?
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  18. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion New Member

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    I don't understand your fixation on being professional, you're on a writing forum designed for people who want to improve their writing or just to interact with other writers. Not everyone aspires to be a professional, most people here just write as a hobby, currently anyway.
  19. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't mind an occasional 'lol', though I don't want to decipher a comment filled with them (or other netspeak tidbits). But as a couple others stated, I'm much more irritated by capital confusions, rampant misspellings, grammatical slush, etc. Those are the ones that make me wonder about the writer's capabilities.
  20. art
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    art Senior Member Contributor

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    An odd thing to get annoyed about.

    A social lubricant.
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  21. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Wow :eek: I sincerely hope you didn't mean this as a pauschal value judgement, because that would be really annoying.
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  22. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Senior Member Contributor

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    Of all the things to get elitist about, this is one of the few that really doesn't matter...

    And, besides, not everyone has the privilege of being a well-educated, literate, native English-speaker.
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  23. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese New Member

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    I'm going to have to agree with shadowwalker through and through.

    Even I spurt a 'lol' in rare occasions, where something actually makes me laugh, and I don't want to type "hahahahaha'. But don't use it every other sentence, or you might get on my nerves.
  24. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I think maybe there are different ideas of what's being perceived. When I read the OP, I thought the "Lollum" thing was just hilarious commentary about people who will just say "lol" over and over in discussion, contributing nothing of logical or creative value. As Cheddar Cheese said: "Don't use it every other sentence, or you might get on my nerves." I thought the commentary was of THAT practice -- dropping "lol" or "haha" after every single sentence -- not an attack on people who use the word "lol"at all, no matter how occasionally.

    I do think it's reasonable for someone to write out a full, intelligent paragraph with the word "lol" appearing once or twice. This doesn't make someone a bad writer. I agree with Shadowwalker and CheddarCheese - it's bad grammar, such as total lack of punctuation and no concept of how to use apostrophes, that signals a bad writer. Saying a person who drops the occasional "lol" is not to be "taken seriously" is, in my opinion, absurd.

    It's also important to remember that forums are conversation-based, and people are going to write in casual tones rather than in their fiction writing style. The tone I use to write on WF is not the tone I use in my novels. Not to say that I'm sloppy with grammar/syntax on WF, but the tone is not the same. On WF I write in pretty much my own voice, while in my novels, I write in my characters' voices.

    And I agree with all of the points that Elgaisma has made.
  25. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Note that I didn't say anything about the occasional LOL.

    The site rules allow moderate use of netspeak, but require it be kept reasonable and appropriate.

    It's one thing to chuckle at a humorous comment in a Lounge thread. It's quite another to respond to a serious question in Writing Issues with a poly-LOL-ie response, especially a response containing a barely-relevant anecdote. And netspeak has no place whatsoever in Writing Workshop critiques.

    Show some respect for people who are here with honest questions and issues.. At least pretend you are taking them seriously.

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