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I was reading a novel at Syosetsuka ni Narou's site and I found(棒) in one of the dialogues. I know that there's a similar(笑) that's equivalent to English net slang "lol", but I find no sense in changing "smile" for "pole". What would it mean?

The chapter in question: http://ncode.syosetu.com/n2872bw/83/

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It means 棒読み like Espen said. dic.nicovideo.jp/a/%E6%A3%92%E8%AA%AD%E3%81%BF ← info on where 棒読み came from (why it's "pole") if you care. And more info on how it's used. – Ash Jan 3 at 22:20
    
Thanks for the link and thank you and Espen for the info. – Kemm Jan 3 at 23:49
up vote 12 down vote accepted

It is a shortening of 棒読み and means speaking in monotone. I.e. if it is an apology or compliment then it is not sincere.

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