A letter to the editor of the Sunday Herald

I spent a few minutes reading the Herald on Sunday during a lull in family fun this afternoon. It contained an article (fortunately duplicated in the online edition) with even more than the usual twaddle around social media that mainstream newspapers.

I reproduce the letter I sent below with links cleaned.


I was most amused by your article relating the death of the term “LOL”, as explained by a “social media expert”.

Apparently a new term, “PML” or “p*ssed myself laughing” had taken its place.

I am something of a social media expert myself. Amongst my professional roles I give advice to the National Library of New Zealand to support the development of online homework help service, AnyQuestions. I have also delivered conference addresses and workshops to members of the library industry on this subject.

I was therefore somewhat dumbfounded to see a term I’d never heard being described as taking over what is now one of the most commonly used phrases on the web.

Further checking on noted internet jargon reference Urban Dictionary found two definitions, dated 2003 and 2007, for PML approximating the listed meaning.

Know Your Meme, which tracks internet phenomena, lists over 300 memes and 4,000 discussions around concepts relating to “LOL”, as opposed to 3 memes and 4 discussions on PML none of which appear to relate strongly to the subject of your article.

Perhaps the Herald on Sunday might choose its experts with a little more care in future?


About seanmurgatroyd
Library (Shared blog): http://diligentroom.wordpress.com/ Personal including infoculture, book reviews: http://diligentroom.wordpress.com/ Music: http://seanfishmusic.wordpress.com/ Last.fm band page: http://www.last.fm/music/Seanfish @seanfish

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