As with most groundbreaking slang, ‘LOL’ has a humble beginning; a humble beginning that has been traced back to Calgary through kilometers and timezones… according, at least, to a post on the U-Calgary website. The post claims that LOL was first written by a Calgary man way back in the 80s. Hoo-boy, that’s an odd claim to fame.

Calgary’s greatest export has been disputed by many. The Caesar, ginger beef, or Tegan and Sara? Perhaps the answer cannot be orally consumed or found in your iTunes library but in your last text message.


Community chatrooms pre-dating the internet we know now also commonly used contractions to simplify social interactions. Viewline was a popular bulletin board system among locals and this is where the wild story– a true heritage moment– begins.

Wayne Pearson, a user of Viewline, revolutionized modern communication before modern communication even really took off. Apparently, after literally laughing out loud alone in his home at something a fellow Viewline chatroom member had said, Pearson, a Calgary man, alternatively wrote “LOL.”

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Shortly after the internet had really taken off, local bulletin boards like Viewline expanded rapidly into other facets of the world wide web, and with it, ‘LOL.’

Pearson, like many geniuses before his time, didn’t realize the cultural impact of LOL not only on Calgary but the world, until much later. Little did he know he was contributing to the downfall of the English language as a whole.

“Today, of course, we see many variations, and I’m amazed daily whenever I see “LOL” appear in obscure places. The “true” use of LOL has been tainted; people use it in the same way that *grin* or “hahahaha” might, but I guess this is the evolution of words and language.” He says in the post.

We encourage you to challenge this, but any evidence already found is in favor of Pearson and its local origins. His claims are pretty airtight, no one else has taken responsibility… And until they do, it’s a good story to tell at parties and makes Calgary sound pretty cool. Obviously, that’s fine by us.