Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Presuming

I keep learning again and again, apparently to little effect, that one should not assume what others know about. I was just asked "what does LOL mean?", because I had used it as only answer to a point in an email.
The point being that I was asked by a man who has used the Internet daily for fifteen years.
And he is intelligent and very successful, and speaks English well. Apparently he just never before has seen it used in a context where he felt compelled to query about the meaning.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, May 27, 2009   34 comments links to this post

34 Comments:

At 27 May 2009, 18:10:00, Blogger Ray said...

It could be either of: "Laugh out loud" or "Lots of luck", but I think it's the former usually.

 
At 27 May 2009, 18:19:00, Blogger Joe Dick said...

I'd be willing to be that to 99.9% of internet users it means laugh out loud.

 
At 27 May 2009, 20:02:00, Blogger TC said...

And *presuming* seems to be a *safer* route than *assuming* 'cuz...that just makes an
ASS [out of] U [and] ME(!!) and we surely don't want that! ;-)

Perhaps, Eo, he just felt comfortable asking you...since he is this "very..." person. Perhaps he's got this image to *protect*. :-)

Nice he even got an "LOL" from you! ;-)

(*nice* new portrait, there JD. Looks like you've grown, since the last one! lol! It *suits* you WELL!! ;-)

 
At 27 May 2009, 22:38:00, Blogger Bruce Oksol said...

Fifteen years ago, he knew what "LOL" meant, but after almost two decades of internet surfing he has lost his mind, and simply forgotten that he had once known what "LOL meant.

We used to see a lot of this (loss of one's mind) during the era of broadcast television, an era that ended back in the 90's.

IMHO. LOL. LMAO.

 
At 27 May 2009, 22:50:00, Blogger TC said...

Bruce Oksol said...
"IMHO. LOL. LMAO."

And don't forget ROFL and...my personal favorite: ROFLMFAO! ;-) That's when it's WAY FUNNY!! :-)

 
At 28 May 2009, 04:51:00, Anonymous Kabel Yaache said...

Just like saying 'beucoup dinky-dow' to someone who doesn't speak Vietnamese. It's all in the context.

 
At 28 May 2009, 05:01:00, Blogger Pascal [P-04referent] said...

So... what DOES it mean in the end?
I've always wondered what joyful TC meant by it. ;-)

Kabel Yaache,
Vietnamese? Isn't that French?
Same question about my Captcha : "phyphi"

 
At 28 May 2009, 05:05:00, Blogger TC said...

Pascal said...
"So... what DOES it mean in the end?
I've always wondered what joyful TC meant by it. ;-)"

Which one are you curious about, Pascal? :-)

 
At 28 May 2009, 05:05:00, Anonymous M.A.T.T. (Masked Acronymist The Terrible) said...

Pascal,
It means "Look OnLine".
It's short slang for "google it".
IMHO. (I May Hear Otherwise)

"You can just call me... Ivan."

 
At 28 May 2009, 05:08:00, Blogger Pascal [P-04referent] said...

T.C.,
All of it. You tell me as much as you dare say in public! ;-)

MATT,
THX, that was very infornative.
Perhaps too much, in fact! :-)

 
At 28 May 2009, 05:20:00, Blogger TC said...

Pascal said...
"T.C.,
All of it. You tell me as much as you dare say in public! ;-)"

OK, Pascal...I'll try *really hard* not to make you blush. Are you ready?

Here they are...as *I* know them:

LOL: Laugh Out Loud
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
LMAO: Laugh My ASS Off
ROFL: Rolling On the Floor Laughing
and finally [drum roll, please]
ROFLMFAO: Rolling On the Floor Laughing My Fucking ASS Off

OK, Pascal? :-)

 
At 28 May 2009, 10:55:00, Blogger Aniko said...

I'm glad Pascal asked the question, and TC, thank you so much for the enlightening answer! To be more precise: set of answers!

Now I will just have to memorize the acronyms...

Thought a mystery is still remaining:

Why do they say they laugh their ASS off?

I mean... Basically the head is shaking when laughing. I could imagine a head flying away in an extremely strong outburst of laughter, in a cartoon for example.

Lungs and stomach muscles are involved in the action, may hurt afterwards.

But I don't see any specific action played by the ass.

Probably it is just there got get a touch of nastiness in the story. How sad... :-)

 
At 28 May 2009, 11:10:00, Blogger Joe Dick said...

But I don't see any specific action played by the ass.

You're being too literal. It's like if it's really cold and you say "Man, I froze my ass off out there!"

 
At 28 May 2009, 11:16:00, Blogger Aniko said...

Hum. Was basically meant to be funny. :-)

Though, actually, when freezing, i think the expression is more justified. :-)

 
At 28 May 2009, 13:52:00, Blogger Joe Dick said...

Ah, okay, missed the joke.

Of course, when it's really cold if you're a guy you could say "Man, it's so cold out there, I almost froze my balls off!"

 
At 28 May 2009, 16:43:00, Blogger Alex said...

"Freeze the balls of a brass monkey"But of course the balls frozen of a brass monkey are cannon ball, as a brass monkey is a rack for holding cannon balls.

I always thought LMFAO was Fat Arse. What are all these people doing with mules anyway.

Lots of Dinky Dau. Wish I spoke Vietnamese, then I'd get it, Pascal, you must be crazy for thinking that's French.

When I grew up we had a phrase "Murky buckets", which derives from the French for "Thanks a lot". There's another English phrase "je ne c'est quoi" which means "enigmatic".

And finally for Aniko, an old joke.

Q - what goes "ha ha ha bump"?
A - A man laughing his head off.

 
At 28 May 2009, 17:03:00, Blogger ttl said...

Thought a mystery is still remaining: Why do they say they laugh their ASS off?

You've stumbled on a fundamental characteristic of American English. In it, every sentence can have "ass" as the object. It doesn't matter what the sentence subject or verb are. You can always structure the predicate so that it is in relation to someone's "ass".

If you don't believe me, listen to Brig. Gen. W. F. McDermott speak to Jacobson in the Fry & Laurie sketch American Ass (YouTube).

You will find that "ass" is a key concept of modern American culture.

 
At 28 May 2009, 17:08:00, Blogger TC said...

Aniko said...
"I'm glad Pascal asked the question, and TC, thank you so much for the enlightening answer! To be more precise: set of answers!"

You're welcome, Aniko. I wish it had been a more exciting topic that I could have enlightened you on! lol! :-)

"Why do they say they laugh their ASS off?"

and...

"Probably it is just there got get a touch of nastiness in the story. How sad... :-)"

Actually, I think that it was more to be FUNNY or...um *cocky* (interesting how body parts seem to also be part of this *lesson*! lol!). Perhaps, it all started with (and, Pascal, feel FREE to *jump in* at ANY time, during this discussion and...um...*save my butt*(lol! See?! There it is, again! ;-) the *theory* that...when we walk, we lose weight and -- for some -- most noticeably...in the *butt*/*ass*.

Hence, the expression "he walked my *ass* off. And, then, to really run the expression *to the ground* (yet another expression! Oh boy! or girl, in this case ;-) people began variations, thereof:

"Kiss my [insert preferred *derriere* term here]"

"You're a *pain in the [ass/butt]* (which I have, personally, abbreviated to PITA :-)"

I'd like to kick your [ass/butt]"...you get the idea. And...whilst writing this, I came to the conclusion that...*ass* seems a little more *threatening* than...*butt*. I don't know why; it just has a little more of a *kick* to it! YKWIM? (you know what I mean? :-)

So...yes...silly language but...in some circles, that is what *we* grew up with and...it's either FUNNY or not...depending on which end of the saying you're at. ;-)

Hope ALL of this silliness helps! :-) Probably not a lesson taught in any English class that most people have attended, I'm sure! lol! ;-)

 
At 28 May 2009, 18:37:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every time ttl says something i think my god this is the one sperm out of all those millions that made it?

 
At 28 May 2009, 19:04:00, Blogger TC said...

Anon said...
"Every time ttl says something i think my god this is the one sperm out of all those millions that made it?"

ttl actually supplied a VERY FUNNY (and appropriate) clip there, Anon. And, actually, I laughed my...uh...ASS off @ it! lol! ;-) Thanks, ttl. That was HILARIOUS! :-)

 
At 30 May 2009, 00:33:00, Anonymous Aniko said...

"Q - what goes "ha ha ha bump"?
A - A man laughing his head off."

Amazing !
Love it ! :-D

Hahaha ! ... (no bump, fortunately)

 
At 30 May 2009, 00:37:00, Blogger Aniko said...

Thank you all. My level of english cultural knowledge has raised significantly... :-)

 
At 30 May 2009, 02:56:00, Blogger eolake said...

In an old Peanuts strip, Snoopy and the little bird Woodstock, who is his secretary, write a silly joke which makes them both laugh so hard they fall off the doghouse onto their heads. As they both sit there grinning with stars around their heads, Snoopy thinks: "humor is good, but it can make your head hurt."

 
At 30 May 2009, 17:30:00, Anonymous Aniko said...

"humor is good, but it can make your head hurt."

it sounds funny. :-)

Though... I think I see humor as basically relieving. So mostly taking headache, heartache, stomachache away... I cannot really remember something funny that gave me headache... Do you have such an experience?

 
At 30 May 2009, 19:24:00, Blogger eolake said...

Only when Peanuts made me laugh so hard I fell and hit my head.

 
At 31 May 2009, 01:50:00, Blogger Alex said...

I remember something so funny it hurt my leg. We were practicing silly walks, and I ended up getting stuck under the couch. It was funny, especially seeing my mate Richard cracking up so hard, tears in his eyes, falling to his knees in hysterics.

And no, we were sober too, he was just like that.

Humour is a great cure for many things.

 
At 31 May 2009, 20:00:00, Blogger eolake said...

It's a universal healing medium.

 
At 1 Jun 2009, 00:17:00, Blogger Pascal [P-04referent] said...

I'm *always* ready, TC. It's a life rule of mine. ;-)

I was, of course, kidding when I asked. But on this precise thread, that was like ASKING to be taken literally. That'll teach me.
I still learned a couple of things. "ROFLMFAO"? WTF? :-)
Uhm... on second thought, better not ask for graphic details about that one!!!

"Why do they say they laugh their ASS off?"
Well, once this guy told his shrink about a recurring nightmare he had:
- Doc, every night I dream that I'm unscrewing my belly button.
- It's just an obsessive dream. Simplest way to end it, is to act it out for real, then you'll stop being afraid and dreaming. So, this is what you should do: go home now, and actually unscrew your belly button.
Half an hour later, the psychiatrist receives a frantic phone call:
- Doc! Doc! I did like you said, I went home and unscrewed my belly button.
- So, what happened?
- I've lost my ass, Doc! It just fell on the floor!

That's probably what Joe meant about the dangers of frost?...

"But I don't see any specific action played by the ass."
Ooh, you mean you'd like to see some ass action? ;-)
I know a guy who can fart the national anthem, if that's what you mean.
I'm sure he could do a reasonable imitation of "ha-ha-ha"...

Alex,
Thanks for the info. Now I'll never look the same way at a golden monkey's privates...
Me, I would've guessed a "Farting Ass". Happens to some people when they laugh. I suppose it all depends on one's personal conceptions of the tukhas.

"Pascal, you must be crazy for thinking that's French."
It's even worse than you thought: I speak French perfectly! Yup, it's a bad case awright.
Tell me the truth, Doc, is there any hope? Does it involve icy showers? Are they given by pretty female nurses? Are they dressed or do they make sure their uniform stays dry?
Bring on the murky buckets, aaarr!



[Continued on next 4,096 microns salami slice]

 
At 1 Jun 2009, 00:18:00, Blogger Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"...a fundamental characteristic of American English. In it, every sentence can have "ass" as the object."
Yeah, it's a most poetic and cultural language. (Right, Aniko? ;-) TTL's film illustrated that so beautifully, it brought fucking tears to my goddamn eyes, and that's no bullshit!
But Arabic is notably manlier.
And markedly gynaecological on the family tree, too.
I'd rather not explain the part where ribcages and dead camels start getting involved...

"You will find that "ass" is a key concept of modern American culture."
"Wanna see my keyhole? Heh-heh-heh!" - Kornhulio, occasional speaker of Arabic.
[Actually, if you said "wanassee my keehole" in Arabic, it would mean roughly "and forgetting alcohol water". Which in a salafist land might just be a fatal insult to utter, anyway!]

"(interesting how body parts seem to also be part of this *lesson*! lol!)."
Get a hold on yourself, woman! (sigh) Really, some people can be SO immature...
Why don't you just follow the example of my own, most impeccably polite posts?
Now, put these marbles under your tongue, and repeat after me, it's all in the pronunciation:
"A hard brass arse asks Harold, how hot are hard brass arses to arson in Marseille, as to the assessment of lard-arse professor Hans Higgins?"
Neuw, neuw, neuw, thaht's theuw Welsh ahccent my fair lady, I wont theuw Londun ahccent, by Golly! Ow, heavens help us. Every time she gets to "Higgins", she swallows a marble.
I say, you'd think by now she'd remember where the tricky part is, wouldn't she?

"Kiss my [insert preferred *derriere* term here]"
I tend to like "tushie".
Then again, in kiddie talk here in Lebanon, we have the ├╝ber-cute "tattooz". :-)
My *preferred* derriere, I'd probably kiss. But it'd have to be goddamn fraggin' cute! Privileges need to be earned... :-)
Nowadays, I'm rather busy kissing my fave pussy.
Speaking of which, I'd better keep a window open for when he returns from his night prowl.

"which I have, personally, abbreviated to PITA"
If you're feeling one of those, you have my PITY.

"depending on which end of the saying you're at."
I'd rather be at the blunt end, thank you very much!

"Probably not a lesson taught in any English class that most people have attended, I'm sure!"
"I have a bad case of diarrhea!" Authentic Engrish resson in rovery country of Japan, rive and rearn, dear rady.

"my god this is the one sperm out of all those millions that made it?"
Yes, a fascinating sperm that one, isn't it?
Compliments will get you anywhere. :-)

"humor is good, but it can make your head hurt."
D'uuuuh... yeah, 'speshully if'n yer tryin' ter unnerstand it!

"Only when Peanuts made me laugh so hard I fell and hit my head."
Well, me, mostly it can make my cheeks hurt.
(No, TC, I meant the cheeks of my FACE.)

"And no, we were sober too, he was just like that."
It's even better to have a riot of a good time when you're sober enough to remember it! :-)
That's why I never get *truly* "smashed".
(That, and smashing also hoits me noggin.)

P.S.: Eo, what's a "university meddling helium"???

 
At 1 Jun 2009, 00:26:00, Anonymous M.A.T.T. (Masked Acronymist The Terrible) said...

"that was like ASKING "
Asking So Kindly, Influence Nearly Guaranteed.

"If you're feeling one of those, you have my PITY."
Pascal meant, of course, Pathos Intended Towards You.

"(No, TC, I meant the cheeks of my FACE.)"
Fine Appearance Compels Elegance?

"You can just call me... Ivan."

 
At 1 Jun 2009, 08:05:00, Blogger TC said...

Pascal said...
"I'm *always* ready, TC. It's a life rule of mine. ;-)"

Well...I'm *sure* GLAD to read that, Pascal! *Good on you!* Wouldn't want to catch you w/yer, uh...*pants down*! lol! ;0)

"I was, of course, kidding when I asked."

Well...I *was* wondering! I thought you practically *knew* EVERYTHING so...was a little surprised but...then Aniko asked so...I just decided to run w/it!

"I still learned a couple of things. "ROFLMFAO"? WTF? :-)

Uhm... on second thought, better not ask for graphic details about that one!!!"

Exactly! lol! That's an offline one! lol!

"Ooh, you mean you'd like to see some ass action? ;-) "

Oh, dear. Just what Aniko needs: "ass action"! lol! I bet she -- along w/most of the rest of us -- probably grew UP w/peeps that *enjoyed* LOTS of STUPID-ASS action (farts)...in a brother or...a dad! *Fun* times...NOT!! lol!

"I know a guy who can fart the national anthem,"

Oh, GOODY, Pascal! D'ya think that he's famous on uboob, yet? And...if he isn't I bet *someone* is (and all the guys *run* to the uboob to see! lol! "Is *this* my *ticket* to fame?!" they ask themselves, as they *hunt* to see if anyone has made it *big* w/the National Anthem farted out for millions! lol!)

"if that's what you mean.
I'm sure he could do a reasonable imitation of "ha-ha-ha"..."

Silly man! :-)

"TTL's film illustrated that so beautifully, it brought fucking tears to my goddamn eyes, and that's no bullshit!"

Yeah...I LMFAO, too...(you forgot to include "ASS" when describing how MUCH it affected you, Pascal! lol!)...w/the tears a-rolling, too! lol!

Crack me up w/the marbles bit, there, Pascal! I'd say more but...I'd be bragging! lol! :-)

You're *derriere* section was funny, Mister!

""depending on which end of the saying you're at."
I'd rather be at the blunt end, thank you very much!"

LOL!! More like: "I'll have a *butt cup* please!" LOL!! ;-)

"Authentic Engrish resson in rovery country of Japan, rive and rearn, dear rady."

Durn it, Pascal; you didn't prepare very well for this lesson; BOTH of those vids are no longer there! :-(

"(No, TC, I meant the cheeks of my FACE.)"

Yes, dear doctor, I *got* it! *Could* work on t'other end, too...if you fell...on 'em, though! ;-)

 
At 1 Jun 2009, 08:28:00, Blogger TC said...

[M.A.T.T.]/Ivan *the terrible*...seems to be wanting to continue, acronymically, from whence we began! :-)

 
At 1 Jun 2009, 13:51:00, Blogger Aniko said...

Well, if all this was printed on paper, it would tend to be unecologic... :-)

 
At 1 Jun 2009, 16:11:00, Blogger Alex said...

While discussing "Rising Damp" with my dad he directed me to another Leonard Rossiter film, Le Petomane. I only mention this since the lead character boasted an "elastic anus" and could fart "La Marseillaise".

 

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