If j00z (4n r34d 7hi5, (0ngr47u147i0nZ. j00z r 4n 31337 m3mb3r 0f 7h3 5m411 p0r7i0n 0f 7h3 in73rw3bz 7h47 (4n r34d wh47’s kn0wn 45 “1337 5p34k”.
If you couldn’t read that, that’s okay, too.
“Leet speak”, or “1337 5p34k”, is a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that’s a common language for texters, hardcore gamers, and hackers. Myself? I learned it through the epic webcomic-gone-published series MegaTokyo, about two gamer best friends that get drunk and spend all their money on plane tickets to Japan, only to find themselves crashing at friends’ houses as they earn money to get back home.
(The series doesn’t end that quickly. Every time they have enough money, a new game comes out and they have to start all over again.) It’s a really funny series with great art. There are some references to gamer culture, but you can understand it even if you have no idea what they’re talking about.
As a joke, I texted a friend in 1337-5p34k last week. He texted back with a fluency that shocked me. The conversation went something like this:
Me: i h473z d0ing 7hi5 h0m3w0rk. 57i11 h4v3 m47h 13f7. j00z?
Translation: I hate doing this homework. Still have math left. You?
Him: 54m3. 7hi5 5(i3I/I(3 h0m3w0rI< i5 I<i11ing m3.
Same. This science homework is killing me.
Me: H3y! i didn’7 kn0w j00z c0u1d 5p34k 1337! j00z n3v3r 701d m3
Hey! I didn’t know you could speak leet! You never told me.
Him: i’m f1u3n7.
We proceeded to text on and off for another hour and a half using only leetspeak. It was only two days later that I found out he had no idea what leetspeak was, and had been using a translator.
Point is, if you freely admit to having no knowledge, you’re okay. If you pretend to know the language, you better learn it pretty darn fast when I hand you my phone at lunch and tell you to text yourself in 1337.
On a completely unrelated note, we watched this video in church today and it pretty much stunned everyone. Makes you want to have a big party or something 😀