In class this week, we discussed a fantastic example of creative English derivational morphology — the case of the LOL prefix.
As many of you should know by now, LOL is an initialism for “Laughing Out Loud”; it has since become an acronym as people say “lol” out loud. Then came the popularity of LOLcats, which has spawned LOL*other animals such as LOLdogs and the ever-popular LOLrus. From this, we get the proliferation of LOL as a prefix to indicate “a silly version of the root”. Some examples I have seen include:
lolresearch (doing research on a silly or inconsequential subject)
lolDPS (in Warcraft, when a character who is normally a tank or a healer instead decides to play a damager)
lolRP (roleplayers who are engaging in silly or nonserious roleplaying)
lolmorphology (one example is the morphology paper I once wrote with a colleague on pluralization in LOLcat)
lolhockey (when a normally good team is playing very poorly or sloppily)
In my estimation, you can use either uppercase or lowercase when using the LOL- prefix. It seems to me that the case used in the prefix may indicate something extra, or it may change to dissimilate from the case of the root. (Example, in lolRP, since RP is capitalized, the LOL would be lowercase to distinguish it.)
Dear readers, have you seen any interesting examples of the LOL- prefix?