LOL, LiLi and L&P

It is, apparently, a sign of being irredeemably behind the times to use the acronym LOL (‘laughing out loud’). I never liked it much. In my youth, we were told that ladies do not laugh out loud, they smile graciously — or, in my case, give way to helpless giggles — at the foibles of mankind. Any suggestion of impropriety by way of risqué joke or allusion should, by the same token, be met with a glacial stare. How long ago all that seems! But it has left me with a vague feeling that laughter can sometimes be cruel and easily turns to the kind of derisive mockery St Benedict deplored. Time was when the letters LOL stood for ‘lots of love,’ and parts of me wish they did still. Can we reclaim them? If we do, may I put in a word for the monastic LiLi (‘like it or lump it’) and my favourite, L&P (‘love and prayer’)? Much of life is a LiLi experience. We can’t avoid the difficulties, but we can avoid making heavy weather of them. And what is love if it is not accompanied by prayer — if it is not taken up into that greater Love which embraces and redeems all others?

L&P, Digitalnun

And in audio format:



6 thoughts on “LOL, LiLi and L&P”

  1. Now, Like it or Lump it, were common expressions in my East End childhood. I didn’t know about their Benedictine roots, you learn something new every day 🙂

    But I do have problems with LOL, because when I first saw it online, I thought it meant ‘Lolling About’ which in the context of a particular conversation seemed a strange thing to be doing. Sadly, I learned only too soon the graffiti of social media, but I have to admit that I’m still a novice when it comes to using ‘text speak’, and long may it be so.

    And L&P seems one that I might use readily, because it’s apt, appropriate and expresses so much in two letters and a symbol.

    L&P for you today and everyday. And BB (bigbone) for @BroDuncan 🙂

  2. L&P for you all today? Sounds from @Bro Duncan as though there may have been another hospital visit yesterday hope not to distressing God Bless you & your social media ministry to us all

  3. I am afraid that the laugh out load cadre got the acronym before us oldies noticed. I have done with lumping. That’s why the world became a mess because our generation was too stoic and accepting of the vindictive status quo. White male supremacy was not going to let go its stranglehold over the rest of the world. L&P means love and peace to me. It is a short prayer that, if adopted and undertaken by more people, might lead to a vast improvement in the lives of God’s children.

  4. It keeps coming as a shock to me to realise that I’m not that young anymore, and don’t speak the language of ‘ yoof’ anymore!

    Still, I do know that lol has long been acceptable only in ironic contexts. “I’m not sure that is funny enough to laugh out loud at, but it vaguely amusing so, um, lol”. That would make for an acronym even more convoluted that rofl, a personal favourite when I was 16, and always untrue unless prefaced with a teenage “like, literally”. (Omg, I’m, like, literally rofl!”)

    Willing to bet if I consulted a 16 year old now, that would sound as dated as your average Enid Blyton protagonist!

Comments are closed.