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Lol warning

Are we living through the death of LOL?

According to a new study, only 1.9 per cent of people on Facebook use the famous acronym to e-laugh

There was a time when it seemed as though "lol" was the most popular word in the world. Aside from people typing it all the time to signal that they were amused, people even started using it IRL, actually saying it out loud. "It was lols," said your friend. "I was lolling" said your other friend. "The Lolcano exploded", said a friend you solemnly swore to never ever see again.

It wasn’t just millennials that used it either. "LOL" texted your mum, mistakenly believing that it stands for "lots of love". Sure, at one point "lol" – the first recorded usage of which occurred in 1989 – was big news. But now? Apparently not so much.

According to fresh research carried out by Facebook, we’re living through the death of "lol", with most of us having left the word behind in favour of "haha", or different versions of the word – you know, "hahahaha" or "hahahahahaha". Over 51 per cent of us use this phrase to express our amusement online.

Unsurprisingly, people are using emoji more than ever to express how hilarious something is. 33.7 per cent of people use the ever-evolving language, predominantly the "laugh cry" symbol. Surprisingly, a lot of people (13.7 per cent) use "hehe", which for some reason I’ve always found very creepy, the type of expression I’d forever imagined was solely used by villains and sinister relatives. Users who choose "hehe" tend to be older.

After a dizzy heyday in 2011 when "lol" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary, it looks this fall out of fashion may signal the death knell for the famous acronym.