You know how sometimes you and a friend will be texting each other funny jokes throughout the day? And you might text a joke to that friend and then she replies with“LOL” or some emoji that implies that she’s laughing? Well, whenever I receive a response like that, I always ask myself, “Did she REALLY just laugh out loud or did she just type that out because that’s what we’re conditioned to do in this Internet-centered culture we’re all a part of?”
In case you didn’t know, “LOL” stands for laugh out loud.
Most of the time when we do the whole “LOL” thing, we aren’t REALLY laughing out loud. When we type “LOL,” we’re communicating to the sender that her most recent text message was interpreted by us as a humorous one. 99.9% of the time, none of us REALLY laugh out loud – at best, we crack a smile and internally chuckle at what we just read or saw.
But sometimes we actually DO laugh out loud.
In the few instances where a text message does make me literally “LOL,” I find myself wondering about what’s the best thing to type out to truly let that person know that I did, in fact, laugh out loud?! I just don’t know.
Cut to @phoneticspeak.
Recently, a buddy of mine texted me a link to @phoneticspeak’s account on Instagram. And let me tell you, this was the perfect example where just typing “LOL” to my buddy would NOT do my reactions any justice. The moment my eyes landed on @phoneticspeak’s Instagram account, I was laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes! My laughs were loud and real. SO LOUD AND REAL! The text message I sent back wasn’t just “LOL.” It was, and I quote, “LOOOOL WOW LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL X 10000 4E!”
Phonetics all over the place!
In short, @phoneticspeak’s Instagram account is a terrific collection of pop culture pictures that all have a speech-language pathology twist to ’em. And what’s the SLP twist, you might ask? Well, all the words within the pop culture pictures have been phonetically transcribed! If you’re anything like me, seeing the visual representation of speech sounds in something other than a textbook or diagnostic report, that gets me so pumped and excited (I know, I’m such a nerd! Hooray for phonetics!).
Here are five of my fav @phoneticspeak pictures:
- Hang in there! – Next time one of your SLP besties is feeling a bit stressed out from tons of IEP meetings, consider sending her that classic silly cat picture to cheer her up.
- Spaghetti! – Next time you have a hankering for some Italian food, send your SLP bestie that cute pug picture and tell her to meet you at Olive Garden for some grub. (And for the record, Olive Garden breadsticks, SO GOOD. Am I right?)
- Friends! – Next time you’re itchin’ for some 90s throwback, might I suggest you send your SLP bestie that picture of your favorite sitcom? Let’s make it a Friends Netflix night!
- Chewbacca! – Next time you’re having a bad hair day, feel free to send your SLP bestie that picture of Chewie. Because nothing better illustrates a bad hair day then that handsome and legendary Wookie.
- Grumpy Cat! – Next time your SLP bestie is a bit grouchy, you might want to send her that Grumpy Cat picture. That Internet-famous feline has a fantastic power where her frowny face can really brighten up anyone’s day. (Fun fact: Grumpy Cat’s real name is Tardar Sauce.)
In closing . . .
Listen, if you’re a speech-language pathologist (and I know you are because that’s why you’re reading this SLP-related blog post), you NEED to follow @phoneticspeak’s account on Instagram. Calling that particular Instagram user hilarious and creative, those words are understatements. Serious understatements. (Keep up the great work, @phoneticspeak.)
P.S. If you’re looking for other cool SLP-related accounts to follow on Instagram, I wrote a blog post last year titled 9 Creative Speech-Language Pathologists You Should Follow on Instagram Right Now.