I Wonder If There Are Similar Rules For The Spanish “Jajaja”…

When someone sends me a typed message that makes me laugh (or was intended to do so), I often have a hell of a time deciding on the specific dimensions of my written “laughter” response.  For example, how many “ha” units (henceforth referred to as “HAUs”) are required in order to convey that something is hilarious?  At least four, right?  Hahahaha.  Makes you feel good.  Maybe even throw in an extra ‘h’ at the end like “hahahahah,” just for flavor.  You’re a wild woman, and everyone should know it.

Well, sista, you’re not alone.  Sometimes, I’ll write a really long chain of HAUs and intentionally make typos along the way like “hahhaaahhahaahah,” to artificially create the appearance of legitimate laughter.  Hear me out – the more erratic the typing pattern is, the more legitimate the laughter seems… as if I couldn’t contain myself and was attempting to type a traditional, properly-spelled “hahahahahahaha” while convulsing with uncontrollable laughter, after reading the sender’s text message/email/G-Chat/Facebook message.  Congratulations, friends… you just learned how to counterfeit written laughter.

It’s pretty awkward to be on the other side of the conversation too, because it’s tempting to try to decipher the hidden subtext, based on how many HAUs are present in the person’s response.  If we’re being honest, I’m not truly happy receiving anything less than 3 HAUs.  “Hahaha” hardly takes any effort, yet still demonstrates enjoyment of my hilarious message.  Everyone knows that “Haha” (2 HAUs) is code for <insincere pity laugh>, while a single-unit utterance of “Ha” is basically just a passive-aggressive display of hostility.  Unless, of course, it was an innocent misspelling of “Ah,” in which case all the very legitimate, set-in-stone, not-at-all-fictional laws that I’ve just described no longer apply.

Questions?

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