"That email made me LOL. Actually LOL, I mean."
Have you heard people say that? There's LOL'ing and then there's actually laughing out loud. Like any language, emoticons and internet slang have evolved into an increasingly subtle and complex lexicon.
Here's an example of the nuances of laughing during an IM conversation. This is the reality behind what I write anyway.
Haha! - Like a guffaw, often to indicate I'm just joking around; in reality, I'm smiling.
HAH - Begrudging, as when someone is teasing me; in reality, I'm smiling.
lol - A little funny. Again, I'm still only smiling.
bahahaha - Someone has said something quite funny that was, in fact, meant to be a joke. I'm grinning in real life.
LOL - Clever and funny; in RL a "hah!" comes out of my mouth.
::laughing:: - Very funny. Actually laughing out loud, repeatedly.
And everyone knows that :-) is not the same as :) or =) or =D or :-D !