The word serves a real purpose - it conveys tone in text, something that even the most cynical critics accept.
"I don't 'LOL'. I'm basically someone who kind of hates it," says Rob Manuel of the internet humour site b3ta.
"But the truth is, we do need emotional signifiers in tweets and emails, just as conversation has laughter. 'LOL' might make me look like a twit, but at least you know when I'm being arch."