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What is the best way to end an informal sentence (such as a text or over Facebook chat) with haha?

Consider the following options:

  1. It's always bugged me haha

  2. It's always bugged me haha.

  3. It's always bugged me haha!

  4. It's always bugged me; haha

  5. It's always bugged me; haha.

  6. It's always bugged me; haha!

  7. It's always bugged me. Haha

  8. It's always bugged me. Haha.

  9. It's always bugged me. Haha!

  10. It's always bugged me, haha

  11. It's always bugged me, haha.

  12. It's always bugged me, haha!

All of them which end with an exclamation mark are too loud. All the ones which have punctuation between the 'haha' and the word 'me' have a very broken flow. All of the ones with a period on the end look like it's an excessively boring laugh. The first one without any punctuation doesn't have punctuation and seems incorrect.

My only thought was perhaps 'haha' itself could be considered punctuation. Technically 'haha' is an exclamation.

Update: I added 10-12 based on JeffSahol's answer.

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The first thing I thought of was a dash. “It’s always bugged me -- haha!” –  MετάEd Nov 17 '11 at 19:36
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3 Answers

Is this a casual, toss-off comment? If so, would put it:

It's always bugged me, haha.

I tend to follow Terry Pratchett on the use of exclamation points: in my opinion, they help if you're working on a Mad Scientist or maniac interpretation.

But since this is Facebook or texting, I am not sure if it really matters.

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I agree. I think I set off haha nearly exclusively with commas, at the beginning and end of sentences. They're coming to take me away, haha! –  aedia λ Nov 17 '11 at 17:49
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@aediaλ ...and I'll be happy to see those fine young men in their clean white jackets... –  T.E.D. Nov 17 '11 at 19:05
    
But do you always use an exclamation mark afterwards? –  ChrisM Nov 17 '11 at 19:05
    
@JeffSahol Don't you feel the period at the end of the sentence dampens your laugh? –  ChrisM Nov 17 '11 at 19:11
    
@ChrisM Only when following Pratchett's guidelines, haha! –  aedia λ Nov 17 '11 at 19:14
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Ending a sentence with ha ha is very informal anyway, so maybe it's a moot point as to how it should be transcribed, since grammar is largely irrelevant at this level.

I sometimes write ha ha or he he at either the begining or the end of forum comments, as an alternative to a smiley. I rarely bother with any punctuation before or after, because syntactically I see it as no different to a smiley.

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I agree, it's just the same as a smiley. I also don't know the correct grammar usage for that. –  ChrisM Nov 17 '11 at 17:49
    
I don't think there is a "correct grammar" (but I do like to match my brackets! :) –  FumbleFingers Nov 17 '11 at 17:51
    
There isn't a technical correct answer, but I still need to find something consistent which so I appease the OCD tendencies I occasionally have. –  ChrisM Nov 17 '11 at 19:36
    
I spent nearly 5 mins trying to add a 'haha' at the end of that last comment, I just can't figure it out. Argh! –  ChrisM Nov 17 '11 at 19:39
    
By the way, the smiley doesn't count as a close bracket as well, consider trying a square-faced smiley and a space (like this :] ). –  ChrisM Nov 17 '11 at 19:40
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I'd probably go with either 8 or 9, depending on how genuine the laugh is supposed to be.

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