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From "LOL" to "BRT"

Updated on October 8, 2010

      I cannot recall when exactly I first saw “lol” appear in writing, I cannot even remember if it was in a text message or talking (writing) online with someone. I am quite positive “lol” was just like the beginning of a virus for the written English language. It infected the younger generation of today quite effectively. Almost as if a new “coded” language is emerging.

      Soon after “lol” there was “lmao” and then, I am not quite sure … many followed. “Thanks” became “thx”. “Cool-cool …” has changed altogether to “KK”, and now I always have to be so bloody careful to not slip another “K” in there by mistake and land myself in some serious trouble. "See you later" has become "c u l8er"; I even caught myself sending a text message on my phone to a friend which read "BRT" (I didn't mention it meant "be right there"). This is a true story really ... he sent me a text back saying "No thanks I’m not hungry". It turned out he thought I misspelled BLT (the sandwich). Perhaps I should have said “omw” (“on my way”) to eliminate the confusion … The way we write has changed much and will change even more I think.

      The fact that people walk around on the blackberries emailing each other from places such as the subway or the park, the toilet, etc has changed life in a way that the cell phone did only this time the "conversation" is much "bigger" with many more people involved. Everyone seems to be compelled to say something … anything (since the audience is greater perhaps). And not only do you have to say something but you have to say it fast because in today’s rushing world riddled with “ADD”, there is very little time for anything.

      Thus, it is obvious I think that the English language is changing (at least in its written form). The implications though I think are quite complex and I am just "scratching the surface" here. How is “reading” affected by our “new” way of writing? Were the Egyptian hieroglyphs better and should we go back to those since we seem to keep “cutting” letters looking to make words and sentences shorter? Does this even matter?



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    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You for stopping-by here as well Mr. Aravind. I suppose language just like everything else is also undergoing constant change and I guess we just gotta keep up.


    • aravindb1982 profile image

      Aravind Balasubramanya 

      9 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

      I fear that soon we will be in a time where good English would be called Archaic English. It would be a language that is kept alive by a few crusaders!

    • kallini2010 profile image


      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      It is so strange, I refrain from using those (LOL) abbreviations and HP refrains from sending notifications on comments.

      I just remembered and I came to check out whether you commented or not.

      I just made it harder for myself - that is all.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Nice to see you here as well Kallini.

      I do use abbreviations. I just do not use them when I converse with you because you have told me a long time ago that you do not like them. Thus, I refrain from using them with you.

      Your comments make Mr. Happy happier - thank you!

    • kallini2010 profile image


      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I agree, that all these abbreviations are damaging. Not because I am against them, but once they creep in, they tend to stay. We reproduce what we see. Reading used to be an instrument for keeping good language - we read, our mind scans and remembers how words are written and then it is easier for us to write them in the same manner.

      I have eliminated LOL and such after I had read the book "How to write well" by William Zinsser.

      I rarely recommend anything to anybody, but I think for HP writers it is a must. It is a short book, but I found it very effective.

      Good topic.

      By the way, I don't remember, do you use LOL?

      JA (Just Asking).

    • Escape2Paradise profile image


      9 years ago from Bangkok Thailand

      "lol" what a great hub and what you are writing about it's so true!! I knew lol as laugh out loud but my future mother in law she always put lol in the end of every text when she sent me a SMS I was like " what's so funny?" then later I got it she meant to alot of love :) well there are so many words about I'm usually use to type like brb - be right back, ty - thank you, yw- your welcome, nvm- never mind, and wtf - what the f*** , lol don't really wanna type I'm a full word for this one well there are sooo many tho :D

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      OMG - this was pretty fantastic hub. Thx 4 writn it - LOL.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment Mr. Camaroon - I appreciate it!

      Keeping emoticons away from writing is indeed proving to be a difficult task.

      Thx ttyl rofl!

    • camaroon profile image


      9 years ago from Utah

      Being one of those in this "new generation" i have first hand experience of how texting language has ruined us. I often find myself wanting to add emoticons (smiley faces, etc) to an essay or article that i'm writing for school, because it is much harder to write the words so that they mean that emotion. I think it's a skill that as a society we are slowly losing, thanks for the hub :)

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      9 years ago from Isle of Man

      You are a very good person and I am simply appreciating that.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank you for your time Mr. Spirit Whisperer. The ravens, yes - they do follow me especially lately.

      I am not quite sure how you live without a cell-phone. If anything says a lot, that does! Good for you though.

      I think I might be beginning to understand you a little. Just maybe ... lol Cheers!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      9 years ago from Isle of Man

      I really like this hub because you have brought up something very interesting about the development of human communication especially in the so called developed countries.

      I personally don't use a mobile phone though my children do. I think they would be isolated by their friends if they did not communicate through mobile phone and Facebook.

      I do use the LOL because people cannot see your expression when you write something and they could take it seriously unless you let them know that you are joking. So that is a good use for LOL.

      I suppose also it must save people money but cutting down on the length of the words they text.

      I had to ask a hubber recently what he meant by LMAO as I thought it sounded like he had a llama. He sent me back a reply to say that llamas rock and I suppose he must have thought I had to be joking. I don't mind not knowing how to read Chinese so I don't mind not knowing how to read this new language either.

      When I in a country I tend to pick up the language and can more easily appreciate the culture when I do. When I was living in Japan the people would be surprised that I was gaijin when they would meet meet me because I sounded Japanese on the phone. But I refuse to live in the mobile phone world and am glad that I cannot speak or sound like the people who inhabit that world. This illusory world is enough for me LOL, LMOA , ROTFL and any other letters to conjure up the picture of me rolling around with llamas not eating rotten flesh!

      Thank you for great read this morning. I have also been reading Slarty O'Brian's follow to hubs to his warrior hub and I think you might enjoy them.

      You have a great day Wolfman Jack and may the black raven fly in your shadow today.

    • RedxVelvet profile image


      9 years ago from California, United States

      It is such simplistic writing that makes those of the older generation think that my generation is ignorant and lazy to not type out words fully. I, myself like to stay away from little things such as LOL and BRT.

    • Sembj profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice hub and I for one think that the changing shape of the English language does matter. Histories have the perspective of time, and the impact of all the changes wrought by technology on our youth and culture will only be known in the future. Those who love language are probably overly pessimistic whereas those who love truth may have more reason for concern. It seems that objective scores for US students in all areas are singularly unimpressive.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      11 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Haha, thank you for your honest comment Petra!

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      11 years ago from Los Angeles

      All those kabalistic signes got me into a lot of trouble as a mother-in-low totally outdated; some stupid slmiling face after the end of a sentence was suppose to make a remark "just a joke", but since I do not have the "cod" for such insanity, I got offended.

      We sorted all out, but I am still not happy and I am not LOL at this nonsense

    • cameciob profile image


      11 years ago

      Yes, English is a language alive but that's a good thing. We just need a good and updated dictionary. I'm sure I'm gonna learn a lot from my daughter when i'll buy the first mobil phone for her too

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      11 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "LOL" is "laugh out loud" or "lots of laughs" from what I know ...

    • easetravels profile image


      11 years ago from INDIA,TAMILNADU

      Happy to read good abbreviations. LOL means what? Just a curiosity. Without knowing the meaning of it, I have used once or twice in this hub. And after that I have sleepless nights. Because, I have mentioned that to a hubber. I do not know, how he/she has taken it.

      By the way here while receiving messages in Gmail while typing I use to see GM. I was feeling very happy, because someone is calling me as General Manager. And out of curiosity, one day I asked him the meaning and came to know that it is Good Morning.

      I enjoyed your hub. Tell me the meaning LOL.LOL

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      I enjoyed your Hub today. Something is happening. The results we do not know. Could be a Black Swan over the horizon.

    • wunderkind profile image


      11 years ago

      Is this any different than any of the slang terms that have come in the last 100 or so years? (I say only that amount of time because their popularity can be attributed to the implementation of mass communication systems of late).

      LOL is spreading, and fast. But remember cool, hip, dig, awesome, tubular, sweet, righteous, bro, the bees knees, the cats pajamas, yo momma? Internet culture is abbreviated because initially there wasn't time or speed/bandwidth to say all that you wanted.

      Although abbreviation has spread through text messaging at a much faster pace and has completely insinuated itself into our culture. Get with it, you hep cat. J/k

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      11 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "Lots of laughs" or "laugh out loud" = "LOL"

      Thank you all for the great comments and for taking the time to read. Cheers!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      11 years ago from London, UK

      I haven't figured out what LOL that is why I read your HUB. You didn't tell me either. Otherwise a great Hub.

    • syuryadi helpi profile image

      syuryadi helpi 

      11 years ago

      Maybe someday we will have a dictionary for that acronym such as "LOL"," LMAO" and others.Infonaturale is right, good observation.

    • jiberish profile image


      11 years ago from florida

      Tkx 4 the lol Hub.

    • infonaturale profile image


      11 years ago from Nigeria

      Good observation, great hub.

    • Jack De Pancake profile image

      Jack De Pancake 

      11 years ago

      kk story dude enjoyed read k thx l8er. No but really nice hub.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      11 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "LMAO" is "laughing my ass off" ... and you can add an "F" if you want between the "M" and "O" for extra emphasis I guess ... ya, "rolling on the floor laughing" (rofl) is a funny one too lol

    • elisabethkcmo profile image


      11 years ago from Just East of Oz

      oops, you I meant LMAO...

      and just a tip, I find very helpful when I don't know what the heck something means

    • elisabethkcmo profile image


      11 years ago from Just East of Oz

      True, it's whole new language, though not always so accurate..

      even if something is only mildly funny, LMOA or ROTFL is used, though I think that their ass is still intact, and they are nowhere near the floor

      just a thought..

    • Storytellersrus profile image


      11 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Love this!!! What is IMAO... IMAOUT??? LOL. Why not add a dictionary for the acronym challenged, haha. I would read it!


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