I found this article on my way to work, thought its something interesting to share.
Use of emoticons increasingly with teens: study
It’s nothing to LOL about: despite best efforts to keep school writing assignments formal, two-thirds of teens admit in a survey that emoticons and other informal styles have crept in.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project, in a study released yesterday, also found that teens who keep blogs or use social-networking sites like Facebook or MySapce have greater tendency to slip nonstandard elements into assignments.
The results may give parents, teachers and others a big :( – a frown to the rest of us – through the study’s authors see hope.
“Its a teachable moment” said Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist at Pew. “If you find that in a child’s or student’s writing, that’s an opportunity to address the differences between formal and informal writing. They learn to make the distinction … just as they learn not to use slang terms in formal writing.”
Half the teens surveyed say they sometimes fail to use proper capitalization and punctuation in assignments, while 38 per cent have carried over the shortcuts typical in instant messaging or e-mail messages, such as “LOL” for “laughing outloud/” A quarter of teens have used :) and other emoticons.
Overall, 64 per cent have used at least one of the informal elements in school.
Source: metronews.ca  (you got to find it lol!)
Now lets LOL
Honestly though, I think this all came from people like us who play MMO. Right.. you might say instant messaging plays a role too, but in the gaming world… its kind of a must to use the shortest term to describe or express an idea. When you are running to dragon’s aery, you have to turn once every 15-30seconds and if you don’t complete typing and press that enter button, you might aggro or fall off a cliff. With this demand, we tend to use the shortest term possible, hurry up and press that enter button and continue our character control.
The other day I was saying EMO… (accident), a co-worker ask me why does that word stands for “Emotional”, and I explained it to her.. and she’s like ahh ic… makes sense! I’m pretty sure most of the slangs that we use nowadays came from the gaming community, hence spreading it to daily use. Someday, we will use “Lets Zerg these assignments together”, its just a matter of time.
Also, I’m pretty sure everyone knows about the 160 character limit in SMS. That’s probably another reason that forces people to use slangs, trying to cram everything in 160 character is sometimes pretty difficult =P If you don’t use stuff like ttul, wru, cu later, rofl, tyvm etc etc…
I.. myself… made such mistakes too. I meant to type “Limo”, and I ended up typing “Limbo”, meant to type “Bdm”, meaning bedroom and I ended up typing Rdm… =_=;
But you know what, although we use these slangs, but I believe we (as gamer) can be more efficient in communicating ideas (maybe not me, but in general everyone else =P) faster than normal people =P simply we have so many short term to use!
So LOL! Slangs is like a totally new language… at the very least, its a “short form language” for yourself, effective for taking notes =P at the very least since… you’re the only one that needs to understand it :)