You’ve seen it in a chat window. You’ve probably kldjhsljfalshj-ed a few yourself. In context it always makes since, but how can you properly explain the text-scream phenomenon of lakgjiosdgjitheiow? What does i;slahkdsgkuhdsj really mean?
Well, from a purely philosophical standpoint it’s — er. It’s sort of… Kind of — liklagjdsgajsdialgkds. Whatever. I give up.
The use cases of a good ojfdaghksdhjdk are vast and varied, so our own Eric Limer and I decided to try and pin it down on the only medium that makes sense — AOL Instant Messenger. Our attempt to work out the complexities of the problem, in the tradition of Socrates, follows.
Edited for clarity and grammar.
Eric Limer: pi;ahgouiyftudygiukhalsijdk;’al (i am dead with laughter OR i actually hate you and everything you stand for): lol (fuck you i hate you and you wont ever even get it).
Ashley Feinberg: akldjgsjdgjiahds is different from haha because unlike HAHAHAHHAH (i’m hitting on you/manic), lkadsjghldkjst is the only thing that only is is expressible thorugh computers.
Ashley: Like whats the outloud equivalent of alkgjdsgjsgj’
Eric: Doubling over?
Ashley: In my head its me tearing down bookshelves and breaking shit, setting things on fire, bleeding from my eyeballs, what have you.
Eric: Yeah… man, fuck lol. Because lol is trying to digitize this super human thing. Whereas olahjdkjfdhkagsjhldahgs is this expression of rage with no human counterpart. It’s so much more interesting.
Ashley: I forgot my notebook can i copy your maths howmework lol.
Ashley: Hitler is back the holocaust is starting again adlkgasjdgkjasdgljdasjdlgkbfs.
Eric: Yeah but it can also be much lighter while still being angry. Someone said something mildly embarassing auskhjdkagsdhjasd.
Eric: It’s no so much rage as wordless exhasperation.
Ashley: What no I was GOING to say rage — exhasperated rage but a: WHY ISNT THIS PERSON BETTER aldkjdfasdagsjlkgad.
Eric Limer: That is a very altrustic and positive way to be enraged, Ashley.
Ashley: I’ve been likened to a bloggier, less-dead Ghandi.
Ashley: Ok but what about hahahhaldkgjhasijgoirjt i am laughing to keep from screaming
Eric: It’s really just raw, completely context dependent emotion.
Ashley: Frustration, passion.
Eric: Frustration most frequently, but there’s a lot of nuance to that frustration. Like, ailuh;skljdhgkash is a p uniquely context sensitive “expression” for a medium that is so devoid of context.
Eric: Like, you have to trust the recipient.You dont uaktfilvyjnsk;mdl’a,; at someone you dont really know.
Ashley: I mean you wouldn’t be… Like, I can’t think of a situation where you’d be gchatting/im-ing someone you don’t know about something that would illicit alkdgjsjlgibsjfdaidgkfjbdgl.
Ashley: Because it’s a shit talk thing, which is something you generally do amongst friends, or at least people you WANT to be your friends.
Eric: Yeah, it is kind of a shit talk thing but it can also be flattery? Not to the person you’re talking to obviously, but about whatever you’re referring to.
Eric: Like what about “ouiytdrytyftgjykuhlijko’pl this is perfect [link to a really funny thing]”
Eric: So good I cant stand it sort of thing
Ashley: Yeah or like if you’re just mildly hungry.
Ashley: And its like “ladkjgksgldjsdgjfiskgl”
Eric: Now you’re just abusing it. You’re sick.
Ashley: Or what about when you want to express that you’ve lost your faith and no longer believe in an omniscient lord
Eric: Sure. Just like that.