Monday, November 27, 2006

A word or two about #337 $p34l{

Uh, that would be "leet speak" in everyday terms.

What's leet?

Glad you asked. It's the latest in short-cut communication using keyboard and keypad corruptions variants on conventional letters and numbers. Just when us oldsters thought we were getting the hang of things, here comes yet another language to learn.

According to Wikipedia leet derived from hackers, but my instinct is that it has more to do with text messaging and the natual impulse of youngsters to hide stuff from adults than anything else. Text messaging on a keypad takes a lot more strokes than using a keyboard, so anything that can cut down on the number of movements is faster. This means why use two letters when one will do? ( "2" rather than to, two or too for example)

It's all too arcane for my old head, but I am soothed by the hope that it won't be part of commercial messages until the generation that uses it starts handling the money. Oh, wait. That's already here, isn't it? Oh, well, the next big thing will be a teevee message that says...

%05 P3$3rv3 %37 4n07h3r br34l{ 90P4%...47 M(40n4#p$!!!

...or, as we used to say, "You deserve yet another break McDonalds!!!"

Now you know.
Here's a link to a handy leekspeek translator.
Run with it!
This little factoid post was inspired by a YouTube video found at Andreas Wacker's Blogsnow. (The Blogsnow link is now gone, but since the video was put up in April, it's considered ancient history by now and Blogsnow may be programed to drop it.)

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