Aug 16

Tell a Joke Day

LOL
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Oxford English Dictionary
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"An Englishman, Irishman and a Scotsman ... "

LOLOLOLOLOL - this tartan was created in celebration of this new "word" being added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2011, and takes its colors for the traditional black and red of the dictionary.  

"An Englishman, an Irishman, and a Scotsman walk into a pub ..."

 

Today is Tell a Joke Day and a day for laughing, whether out loud in public, or purely in text with the convenient LOL acronym!  

LOL or lol, an acronym for laugh(ing) out loud or lots of laughs, is a popular element of Internet slang. It was first used almost exclusively on Usenet, but has since become widespread in other forms of computer-mediated communication and even face-to-face communication!  It is one of many initialisms for expressing laughter, such as LMAO ("laugh(ing) my ass off") and ROFL (or its older form ROTFL "roll(ing) on the floor laughing"). 

"An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman" is the opening line of a category of joke popular in Ireland and the United Kingdom. The nationalities involved may vary, though they are usually restricted to those within Ireland and the UK, and the number of people involved is usually three or sometimes four. In Ireland, the characters are sometimes called "Paddy Irishman, Paddy Englishman, and Paddy Scotsman". Depending on who is telling the joke, one nationality fares well and the other nationalities fare poorly according to national stereotypes. For example, in England the punchline is usually based around the Irishman being stupid, the Scotsman being mean or miserly, and the Englishman being posh (or a snob but ultimately not the butt of the joke), whereas in Scotland and Ireland, the Englishman will typically be the butt of the joke. Sometimes, when the joke requires four people, a Welshman is brought in.

The "three nationalities" joke format is also very common in other countries. In these cases, the two foreigners are almost always portrayed as cocky, stupid, or naïve, while the home national is smart, practical, or in any case ultimately victorious.

The LOL tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, was created in celebration of this new "word" being added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2011, and takes its colors for the traditional black and red of the dictionary.  

It was determined that the earliest recorded use of LOL as an initialism was for "little old lady" in the 1960s.   Also discovered was the oldest written record of the use of LOL in the contemporary meaning of "Laughing Out Loud" from a message typed by Wayne Pearson in the 1980s, from the archives of Usenet.

Variants in English are:

  • lul: phonetic spelling of LOL. "LUL" is also commonly used in the gaming community

  • lulz: Often used to denote laughter at someone who is the victim of a prank, or a reason for performing an action. Its use originated with Internet trolls. 

  • LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL: For added emphasis, LOL can be appended with any number of additional iterations of "OL". 

  • trolololol or trollololol: A portmanteau of troll and LOL iterated. Indicates that the prank or joke was made by internet trolls, or the user thinks the prank or joke qualifies as internet trolling.

LOL

For more on the various nationalities used by different countries in the joke format of the "rule of three," click the dictionary.

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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