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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Chp 391. LOL and FTW - Correct usage.

What exactly is the correct meaning of an internet acronym? Two things I saw recently inspired me to write this post. One was this hilarious Mizo post I read at The other was at a friend’s Facebook status message.

The funny Mizo article at written by blogger lr hlonchhing went on to narrate about his experience with new internet acronyms and what he initially thought they used to mean. Of course he purposely gave it a humorous twist.

But placing humor aside, there had indeed been many situations when the wrong usage or assumption of what an internet slang meant, lead to an online conflict.

As the internet made life easier for us in terms of connectivity and information, it had also made our vocabulary lighter with the insertion of many shorthand terms like LOL, ROFLMAO, BRB, STFU etc.

Although we all know what they mean, if you say they mean a different thing, then you stand a chance of looking like an idiot.

Take LOL for example. We use it to express laughter when we find something funny. (Sometimes we also use it when we don’t know what else to say during a chat conversation instead of abruptly and awkwardly ending it).

I’m sure we’ll all agree that LOL stands for Laughing Out Loud. In fact this word, along with other internet initialisms like OMG, BFF, IMHO etc are already added to the Oxford English dictionary.

Now take these two scenarios –

Yeah. Many people, especially Generation Z (those who are born in the ‘90s) laughed at the level of ignorance in the two images above for assuming LOL stands for Lots of Love. Seriously, are those two people thaaaat dumb?

Actually… errr… LOL indeed means Lots of Love.

I still remember those days when I used to carefully write those long letters in the ‘80s to a friend or a girlfriend, on a fancy letter pad, penning down whatever came to my mind right then, with no “control+Z” option, and then ending the long sweet letter with a LOL. Lots Of Love.

That’s what LOL meant then.

Another less common usage of the term LOL is Lots of Luck, which we used to wish somebody good luck before his exams or interview.

With the internet invasion, of course LOL now means “Laughing Out Loud”. So is it wrong to use LOL as Lots of Love/Luck in a public forum? Theoretically, it’s not wrong, but do prepare to get flamed by the online mob uttering various insults at you like “dumbass”, “retard”, “fucktard”, or worse – “n00b”.

That’s the interwebz, my friend. Sometimes, it’s best to move along with the herd.

Like I said, you’re not committing any crime if you use LOL to mean something else other than Laughing Out Loud. Just don’t be disappointed with the kind of reaction you’ll get. In fact you can say LOL means Lurking On Lisa, Laying Outdoors Lightheartedly, Lesbian On Lesbian, Laxative Omlette Lubricant etc. Your call.

Similarly, a few days ago when Liverpool knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup, I laughed my ass out (LMAO). And then I saw one of my Facebook friends, a ManUtd fan, posting this on his status…

Trying to be GGG (that’s Good Guy Greg), I tried to tell him that FTW in today’s internet lingo means “For The Win”. But of course I was “corrected” that FTW stands for “Fuck The World”.


FTW indeed means Fuck The World, but only to Motorcycle gangs and anarchists. They drive their customized choppers and g-string clad hoes with leather jackets that proudly read “Fuck The World”. Probably during the same time their neighbor was writing a love letter and ending it with a LOL. That was then, you know…

In today’s online world, FTW means “For The Win”. People utter this to express joy and celebration, especially after winning something awesome, or when something happens in their favor. This term was popularized by the large online gaming community, namely, us geeks.

Again, like before, you’re not committing a crime if you use it to mean something else, like Fuck The World. But see how silly the particular Facebook status update sounds now to most people. Here’s a guy expressing his grief and disappointment because his team lost, and yet seems to be rejoicing about it at the same time by saying FTW! Mixed emotions indeed.

I just wonder what these people will think if they see me updating my status with: “Just had a threesome! FTW!” They’ll probably think, “Damn, this poor dude had the uncool kinda threesome”, while the rest of my friends will think, “Dayyymmm, this lucky bastard had the cool kinda threesome!”



Ps. If you don’t know what a cool and uncool threesome is… then I really don’t know what else to say… Cheers nevertheless!


Fonz_D said...

Ftw = for the win (like liverpool ftw)

lolz = laughing out loud zawnga/zawngi

:D. prego.

TS Khupchong said...


lr hlonchhing said...

You are right. Now-a-days many people doesn't know when and where to used a netiquette and etiquette. So, sometimes it makes no sense, it's funny (not from
Ahah...what to say. Good post.

Zaia said...

Engmaha kan ngaih lem loh hmang hian eng eng emaw hi i ziak zel mai a! Writer dik tak chu i lo ni e :-)

Mizohican said...

@ Fonz: w00t!

@ TSA: LOLzzzz!

@ lr hlonchhing: Danke :) And yup, that's definitely important.

@ Zaia: Hahaha... Thil ho te te kan han ziak ve mai mai a nih hi :D

TS Khupchong said...

lolx = laughing out loud xerox!

Morgoth said...

writing a letter pad to your girlfriend in the 80s!!! and still being a single in the 2012??
Are you serious??

Mizohican said...

@ TSA: lolz - laughing out loud zurui! :D

Morgoth: Bleh :P :)

Khabezuma said...

WTF – World Taekwondo Federation