Video | How ‘LOL’ changed the way we talk

Communication today is much easier, says linguistics professor John McWhorter while attributing this to the advent of texting and more specifically, to the proliferation of ‘LOL’

In a video by The Atlantic from the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival, John McWhorter, professor of linguistics at Columbia University, explains how LOL “ended up creeping in and replacing involuntary laughter,” and what meant for the new era of informal, nuanced communication. “It used to be that if you were going to write in any real way beyond the personal letter, there were all these rules you were afraid you were breaking—and you probably were,” he says. “It wasn't a comfortable form. You can write comfortably now.”

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