Strange Musings *hyuk*
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
  11:23 AM — |337 6009|3
By now everyone not hiding under an unwired rock without a nearby airport knows of simple text abbreviations such as "cu l8r" ("see you later"). Many of the more internet savy might have even heard of "l33t sp34k" (I know of it through the webcomic Megatokyo of "Does anyone here speak l33t?!" and "b4k4^2" fame). But did you know that even Google has a "l33t l4|\|9u49e" version of their search engine!

For the few of you readers NOT in the know, l33t sp34k is a term for a kinda encrypted version of English (or the language of your choice) in which numbers and symbols are substituted for common letters which appear similar. E->3, A->4, etc. There are varying levels of leet, and at its "worst," you'll have substitutions such as W->\/\/, H->#, N->|\|, U->|_| ... It's certainly entertaining, but not designed for easy communication. Check out that Google page, and the linked help, etc. pages. If you're confused and can't read it at all, try slightly unfocusing your eyes; that allows you to not concentrate on the meaning of every individual symbol but instead start seeing similarities between the appearance of the symbols in l33t and the ones you expect to see in normal English.

#4\/3 f|_||\| & 900|) ||_|c|<

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