Letters of Life

When Haha No Longer Means Just Haha

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The Nine Different Meanings of Haha

When not in use face-to-face, ‘haha’ no longer is the sound of laughter. Instead, “haha” has evolved to mean many many things in instant messaging and online media.

The online medium revels in ambiguity, and ‘haha’ has probably become one of the most ambiguous terms in use right now.

Here are nine other meanings to “haha”:

1. “Yes.” Or more accurately, “Yup.”

(Instant messaging) Elise: Was that Janine I saw you with yesterday at East Coast Park?

Juhari: Haha.  

2. “I’m not saying.”

In a Facebook thread.

Elise: Who told you that I was at Bugis with Darren on Saturday??

Juhari: Haha.

3. “Grrrr.”

(Text message) Ah Seng: Know why I had such a long face yesterday?

Ah Mei: Why ah?

Ah Seng: Haha

Ah Seng: Cuz I felt like crap yesterday

4. When it is used with irony.

Blog teenspeak: “The movie was quite disappointing. Maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. Oh, and Deb too. haha. Meh. : (

5. “Yeah, riiiight.” (“You gotta be kidding me.”)

Usage in a blog: You call this organic free-range chicken? Haha. 

7. When it is an awkward response to an awkward question.

(Instant messaging) Jane: So do you think you could wear the blouses I suggested you try on yesterday at Topshop and Mango? 

Samantha: Hm . . . haha . . . not now, I think

8. “Hey, guess what?”

(Instant messaging) Haha my grandma thinks you’re funny. 

9. With a great deal of irony, as in “It’s not funny at all.”

(Instant messaging) Rachel just broke up with me. Haha. 

Because haha no longer means haha-that’s-so-funny, this is what a genuine online haha-that’s-so-funny looks like. Hahahahahahahaha! 

Ironically, the acronym that still holds true to its meaning is LOL.

Haha.  (10. Gotcha.)

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2 Responses »

  1. Interesting set! In a way, haha‘s range reflects actual laughter in that it serves all sorts of social purposes that have nothing to do with amusement.

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