I am sick of seeing people use ‘lol’, ‘rofl’, ‘pmsl’, and such other abbreviations expressing the fact that something is funny when they are communicating on the internet. I mean, how many of them actually roll on the floor laughing when reading a post? It has become systematic and doesn’t mean anything. Now, even French people use it, do they actually know what it means? I doubt it. I agree that when chatting to someone on the internet on prefers to use lively language reflecting everyday conversation. However, these letters do not reflect anything at all. How difficult is it to type ‘that’s funny’? or even ‘ahah’? or just to put a smiley, which has more meaning than these few letters? At least a smiley does show an emotion and when I see the letters LOL, the smiley I want to use is 😡 .
In fact, I despise abbreviations in general. I think they are a nuisance to communication. Language is already not a perfect tool, but if we use abbreviations the risk of misunderstandings is increased. I DO use abbreviations, but only to myself or in certain conventional ways, as in writing bibliographies. We already make spelling, grammar and typographical mistakes, with the addition of abbreviations the text often becomes unintelligible. Despite the fact that French is my native language, I often don’t understand what many French people say because of their use of the ‘abbreviated French language’ and I waste precious time trying to decipher what they actually mean. The same is true in English, however I’m a little bit more fluent in ‘abbreviated English’, it still drives me mad though. I do tolerate abbreviations in mobile phone texts for cost reasons, although I try to avoid them as much as possible. Yet, when one is typing on a computer keyboard, it is just a sign of laziness, it is disrespectful towards the person you are talking to and also towards the language you are using.