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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Meaning of LOL

Things That Come Out of Your Mouth | Tell Me Something I Don't Know on Huffduffer

"'I looked at a corpus of over 44,000 text messages sent by young adults in New York City... [LOL] occcured in about 12% of the messages. So I went through and tagged those messages both for what they mean as well as what they do.

And I found that LOL occurs in messages of empathy, it occurs in messages of flirting, it occurs in messages of softening a request, and what all those things have in common is that the literal meaning does not match the purpose.

So the purpose of the message is for something other than what it exactly says. So to verify that idea, I went through the other messages and looked at places where the literal meaning does match the intended purpose.

So like when someone texts I love you or good morning or is exchanging information, things like that. And it never occurred there. There were no good morning lol or i love you lol, none of that.

So what I take away from that is that it means: reinterpret this message based on the context, because it doesn't mean what it says. And that's important because it's first time that we're seeing a pragmatic marker that's not a discourse marker in written English'...

'A pragmatic marker means that there is a part of language that's about conveying emotion, for conveying empathy, for looking into other places in the mind of the person that you're talking to.

We're not taught that that's grammar. We're taught that you mark the past tense, that you say a before a consonant and an before a vowel, but there's this whole other level of how we talk such as, very quickly, totally: she's totally gonna come.

It doesn't mean she is going to come in actuality. Totally means you and I both know that some people think she's not coming when in fact she is, that's what totally means. So lol has become one of those things'...

'What was the Victorian equivalent of LOL?'

'Oh, you see that's what I think is interesting is that I don't think there was one. I think that it's the rise of text messaging is creating this environment where we need to be able to express things that aren't literal on a written platform.

And the Victorian age we were writing letters and they were long form and they were very well structured, but we're not doing that anymore'"
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