We here at Catchword use instant messaging regularly. It’s tremendously useful to be able to ask a quick question without crossing the office. Of course, on occasion it also aids in the sharing of funny tidbits from the internet.

Today I realized that there’s a code to my abbreviations — a stamp-of-approval system that I have (so far) subconsciously used to indicate how funny these shared links are. Here’s a handy guide to how what I type corresponds to the real-life reaction it elicits.

🙂 – Thanks for sharing. That was cute and it probably even put a real-life smile on my face.

lol – That’s funny and I had a mental laugh over it (or maybe not so funny, but I’m being polite).

LOL – That was funny and I uttered a quiet but audible chuckle.

omg – That is cool and/or is something I had not seen before.

OMFG – My jaw is literally hitting the floor. You win for making my brain go, “Wow.”

ROFL or LMAO – I laughed or giggled out loud.

ROFLMAO – I started giggling so uncontrollably that my fellow Catchwardians got curious and asked, “What’s so funny?” You are the LOL prize winner of the day. Keep sending me more of the same awesomeness in the future.

Some of you may gave no idea what the above abbreviations even stand for. (Go here for a list.) You know what? That’s totally okay too. If you’re the type who eschews abbreviated versions of humorous expression, there’s room in this game for you too. Many people choose to use multiples of “ha” to express their amusement. If this is a taxonomy you feel more comfortable with, here’s a helpful illustration we dug up on the web to guide you in just how many HAs to use to accurately express your level of enjoyment.

If you know me personally and we instant message with each other, now you know exactly how funny I thought that link you sent me was. And if my response was on the lower end of my Lolspeak abbreviation scale, next time try harder. Just kidding. ROFL.