Sunday, 13 February 2011

Are You Trying To Be Funny?

The question of how we come across when we write on the internet has come up recently and I've been giving it some thought. The subject was particularly relevant this week when I received an e-mail from a local councillor. It was in reply to a questionnaire that had been sent out and I had taken the opportunity to point out an error on the newsletter. He thanked me for my comments and asked if I would be interested in a job (unpaid of course) as a proofreader. I wasn't sure if he was joking.

My style of story writing is usually light-hearted and this is the tone in which I blog and comment. But I'm always afraid that readers may not understand that I have a dry sense of humour and so I always think very carefully before I click on that PUBLISH POST button.
I also read a few internet forums and comments pages and it often occurs that one contributor criticises another's comments only to be informed on a later post that they were trying to be sarcastic.

I'm not a big fan of text slang but I'm suggesting a couple of new ones to go along with 'lol' and 'imho'. How about 'oj' for 'only joking' and 'tic' for 'tongue in cheek'? A big cash prize for the first person to comment using one of these (oj).


  1. What do you mean by 'Big Cash Prize'? oj

  2. Brilliant idea, Keith. I worry about this, too - it's so easy for people to get the wrong end of the stick from an e-mail or blog comment. Can I add another suggestion: 'noi' (no offence intended)!

  3. I see a whole new language developing. And I'm still trying to get to grips with lol (laugh out loud? lots of love? what, exactly?)

  4. Thanks for joining in, everybody. If we keep using them maybe they'll catch on.
    Frances, lol seems to be the most commonly used abbreviation and I'm surprised you don't know it (noi). It means 'laugh out loud'.

  5. But it's used in such strange contexts. I mean, do people spend THAT much time laughing out loud?Maybe I just don't have the right sense of humour.

    Another failure. Damn.