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The meaning of LOL: patterns of LOL deployment in YouTube comments

Abstract : LOL may be one of the most popular words of internet slang. It is generally taken to be the acronym of ‘laughing out loud’, but, as some studies have already shown (for example Baron 2004 and Markman 2013), it is not always used to indicate a humorous response and it really is multifunctional. Building up on previous studies of the different functions of LOL, this paper seeks to explore a possible correlation between position and function of non-lexicalized LOL. The hypothesis is that the function of LOL largely depends on its position: clause-initial LOL is not used with the same functions as clause-final LOL. The data for the study come from the comment threads of three popular YouTube videos posted in 2017, 2018 and 2019 on the channel Miranda Sings, a channel posting humorous videos, which has a very wide audience and 10 million subscribers. The complete comment threads total 20 287 comments and 886 distinct occurrences of non-lexicalized LOL. The analysis of those occurrences is both quantitative, aimed at determining the proportions of each use and position, and qualitative. It examines the functions of LOL on two levels: the linguistic level of word and sentence-meaning, and, maybe more importantly, the pragmatic level of social interaction.
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Contributor : Célia Schneebeli <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 5:59:27 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 1, 2019 - 5:08:39 PM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-02141475, version 1



Célia Schneebeli. The meaning of LOL: patterns of LOL deployment in YouTube comments. ADDA 2 – Approaches to Digital Discourse Analysis, May 2019, Turku, Finland. ⟨halshs-02141475⟩



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