Just a little something I came across today.
I was reading an article in the Comments section of The Times Online about the male pill. The article was quite light-hearted, discussing the attitude of dog-walkers to un-castrated dogs, a study in China where only about four fifths of the men remembered to take the pill even though they were (presumably) being paid to take part in the experiment, and the tendancy of both men and women to lie about contraception. All interesting reading over a lunch hour.
Being the online version, comments had been posted at the bottom of the page. One included the phrase 'I loled when I read about your dog'.
The word 'loled' isn't in the dictionary. Or if it is, it won't mean 'perfect tense of the abbreviated form of Laugh Out Loud'.
Yet. The language of technology is forever creeping into our speech. 'Phone has dropped its appostrophe to become both a noun and a verb in its own right. I've already mentioned The Times 'Online'. Even e-mail has lost its hyphen: I email, you email, they all emailed some emails.
Lolcats abound on the website ICanHasCheezeburger (much loved on this blog). Almost everyone under the age of 25 would be amazed if you thought 'lol' at the end of a text stood for Lots Of Love (a joke elaborated on brilliantly by the comedian Matt Kirshen).
Very soon lol, loling, loled, lolable will all make their way to the Oxford English Dictionary. For anyone who is a little uncomfortable at the idea, I like to think of language as a big party to which we are all invited and there's always room for one more. Even the poor castrated dog.