This will be the first in a sure-to-be-long-running series designed to acclimate you, the reader, with the magic and wonder of the Internetz. The topics will be wide-ranging and random in nature–everything from discussions of the best websites to investigating the potentially harmful effects of a misplaced semi-colon while coding PHP.
First we take a look at the underlying meaning of what initially appears to be nothing more than a simple laugh during online conversation. You’re talking to a friend over instant messenger or Facebook and they say something moderately amusing. How does one respond? With a simple “ha ha?” Don’t be naive, friends; the way you respond can speak volumes. Friendships and marriages have been destroyed over misinterpreted online diction. Don’t make that same mistake.
ha – An acknowledgement of a comment having not fallen under the category of “unfunny.” In a sense, you’re saying, “okay, you didn’t shit the bed.” Plenty of room for improvement.
hehe – a reserved, slightly patronizing laugh to acknowledge that you attempted to say something funny and didn’t make a spectacular failure of yourself.
haha – Used most often in casual online conversation; a way of seguing to the next thought after a quick acknowledgement of your pithy quips.
hahah – You’ve exceeded in raising your humor level to the point I made the extra, not-insignificant effort to type an extra ‘h.’
hahahahahahhha – Veritable belly laughs fill the virtual air, albeit while exercising the necessary self-control to refrain from mashing the keyboard in uncontrollable fits of joy.
aaahhahahhaha – Perhaps the rarest of them all, the laughter that starts with an extended “aahhhhh” before the fit of giggling, signifying to one and all that you’ve made a funny and deserve applause.
lol – The most overused of them all, “lol” should be reserved for the truly rare moments in which someone tells you about chimps throwing their own feces while riding a motorcycle, or cats batting something with their paws. Interestingly enough, it should be noted, “lol” does not always indicate an audible output of laughter. It is funny enough to make you laugh, but not quite enough to make it impossible to suppress said laughter in the workplace.
kajd;lasdf;aldsjkga;oias;dgihas;dg – So hilarious you can’t control yourself long enough to successfully type a specific sequence of letters on your keyboard because you are–literally–laughing out loud. This is reserved for the truly great moments of comedy, like when a group of friends trade rhyming verses in a song/poem to pay tribute to another friend that has a slightly off-putting affinity for taco’s. (Said lyrics are kept under Interweb password protection; sorry.)
I hope you’ve learned something from part 348 of my 618-part series on teh Interweb (the previous 347 parts all involve animated cat gifs and were excised to improve website performance). Stay tuned for future chapters in the saga.