In my time as a writer I have been involved in three critique groups where I was given very valuable input. Sometimes it hurt. But it’s always in the spirit of giving and change for the better. And in that vein, I’d like to suggest a new universal rule—no one should write “ha ha” after what they conceive to be a joke in an email or text.* Anymore. Anywhere.
Now it’s good to back up criticism with information or facts.
- People should be allowed to figure out if something is funny for themselves
- If you have to explain a joke, it isn’t funny. Same logic with the “ha ha,” if you have to imply that it’s funny it might not be.
- If you think you’re funny but unsure, and the “ha ha” is a nervous tick, go to an open mike at a comedy club. You will find out if you’re funny very quickly and then you’ll either drop the “ha ha” because you will no longer be insecure or you will drop it because you realize you’re not funny.
- You know you’re putting that in there so that you get an LOL back.
Now let me make it clear. I’m ok with the lol. I think it’s an honest response and I use it responsibly. Lower case to denote small giggle or chuckle, uppercase when it really has been out loud. And let me caution you to also use them in moderation and efficiently, because you are in no small way responsible for the Ha Ha Monster —they’ve come to believe they’re funny because of too liberal use of lol. I’m even ok with the smiley face. That’s just a safety net to make sure the other side knows you’re kidding. Because it is hard to convey humor. I get that.
But when it comes to the ha-ha, I recommend you laugh to yourself when you think something’s funny. Let’s not make the Ha Ha and the LOL into the laugh track of modern society. Otherwise one day children will have lost their sense of humor the same way that people think How I Met Your Mother is funny. Because they’re been told it is.
*And bloggers or those interested in blogging, that goes double for you.
I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Sometimes it’s fun to find someone who you haven’t seen in many years, or learn something new about a friend, more often you’re just reading about people’s problems whose family and close friends don’t answer the phone anymore. I was about to quit Facebook when I started to write and I found out that you need to have social media activities in order to attract a publisher. So it’s become more professional for me, hooking up with friends and trying to post the occasional funny.
But I’ve also found an important element that most people don’t seem to know about. Well that or all my Facebook friends are idiots. Facebook is the equivalent of telling your mom you’re sick and then going to the video game store which is right near the dry cleaners. In other words, you can be found out!
Yep, you see I’ve discovered how people can be sooo busy and unable to get back to you yet they can like a video of a dog riding a scooter. They can’t return your phone call but they can play Candy Crush saga, which I still don’t know what it is. They’re internet has been down for days and have been out of 4G range, yet they’re miraculously able to post to their fan page.
I’m not here to scold those people who’ve tried to lie to me and blow me off. I’m here to warn those of you that may not have thought about it. Move carefully on the internet because you can be found out. We are so far away from the days of putting a match under a thermometer. Your every move has a print, so choose your apps, your device, your very location, carefully.
Or you may be busted. And actually have to go to your friend’s wedding.
Professor I.M. Board recently completed a 10 year study into whether or not the evolving of the use of abbreviations in our speech and communication has been an issue of the type of technology we’re using or a natural human evolution.
It’s a classic chicken or egg type of question and Prof. Board based his studies both on monitoring his control group on their email and texting messages as well as quarterly interviews.
He posits that our speech has changed due to the demands thrust upon us in modern times. We once had time and expressed ourselves through language and writing and so “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo” has slowly dwindled to “Sup. Where u at?”
In a Huffington Post interview, he was asked to distill his findings.
“Well. We’re lazy.”