Sometimes online it’s hard to tell what people are trying to relate. Sarcasm doesn’t always come across, nor does sincerity. To rectify the shortcomings of this modern language, we’ve added offshoots to the English language: emoticons, *reactions*, #hashtags, and –as we’ll discuss in a moment– the written laugh.
Don’t get me wrong. I love emoticons ^_^ and I’m not above a *Kermit arm flail* or #hashtagsummary. There’s something refreshing and engaging –not to mention downright FUN– about these new ways of communicating emotions.
But when it comes to the myriad and mysterious ways of the written laugh, things can get confusing. Just what is the difference between the ‘hehehe’ and the ‘buahaha’? What is the significance of ‘heh’?
So I have taken it upon myself to draw up a handy Laugh Decoder* to help you properly interpret your friends’ web lingo.
You’re welcome, Internet.
Tehe or hehe = Giggling. Cutesy. Denotes the image of a small child covering her dimpled grin with chubby little hands.
Haha = Easy laughter. Denotes amusement.
HAHAHAHAHA! = Loud laughter. Denotes greater amusement.
Heh = The ‘We Are Not Amused’ Laugh. Can also be used as a half-chuckle or pity laugh. See also ‘har har’
Har har = The Sarcastic laugh. Usually reserved for relatives or close friends attempt poking fun at you. Also seen as ‘hardyharhar’
Buahaha! = Full-bellied laughter. Or someone just got tired of the plain old ‘hahahaha’s
Muahaha = Mild evil laughter
MUAHAHA! = Super evil laughter.
MuhahaHAHAHA = Progressive evil laughter, from mild to super. The most dramatic of evil laughters.
He he he or ha ha ha = Deliberate laughter. Likely the writer is trying to make some point, but what exactly is left to interpretation.
*DISCLAIMER: By publishing aforementioned ‘Laugh Decoder’ the author does not promise that every individual to use any form of written laughter, on or off the Internet, will comply with the interpretations as laid down here. These shall be considered guidelines, not actual rules.