Posted by The Voice of Reason on April 21, 2000

In Reply to: LOL posted by Tomar on April 20, 2000

: : : : : I know LOL stands for Looking on Line, but what does it mean?

: : : : I thought it means "Lots of Luck"?

: : : It's (also?) email shorthand for "laughing out loud."

: : Since the early 19th century it's been the TLA for 'Loyal Orange Lodge'. The Orange Order was originally set up by the oppressed Protestant minority in Ulster following a skirmish with the Native Irish - who happened to be Catholic - in the village of Loughall in County Armagh and from those small beginnings has grown the many headed monster which is the 'Northern Ireland Problem' (NIP to insiders). I bet you're glad you asked: and such a full answer - it's a red letter day.

: Depends on the context. LOL just means "Laughing out Loud" in e-mail/chat room/IM's. I've never heard it used differently...Use it in a sentence in one of the other contexts.

The news reporting of the marching season in NI is peppered with references to LOL this and LOL that - where 'this' and 'that' are numbers representing the identity of the Loyal Orange Lodge in question. To answer your challenge 'LOL1 from Portadown District assembled in the town center and marched down Garvahy Road as they have done for the last 188 years. Residents maintained a dignified silence as the contingent of Orangemen, preceded by a silenced marching band, passed on their way to a church service.'

I suppose it's worth noting that that fraction of the internet fraternity who exchange banalities peppered with all manner of obscure acronyms and symbols represent little more than their own delusions, changing as fast as the windblown dust on a deserted street with the permanence of writing in the sand when the tide returns.