Wednesday, September 14, 2005

8 @ 57@r7

A coworker of mine got a new phone extension --1337. As we all know, this totally pwns.

For those of you not disgustingly geek-assed enough to know what I'm talking about, this is leetspeak (or "13375p34k"), the odd twisting of the English language used by online gamers. I recommend the wikipedia entry on the topic for a good summary of the major points. Anytime you see numbers used instead of letters in the middle of a word, the suffix "-xors" added to a word for no reason, and other such nonsense, back slowly away until you can feel functioning society around you again.

From a linguistic standpoint, leetspeak fascinates me, particularly its prevalence and standardization. How can so many people use the same made-up rules in the same way? I understand why a secretive "language" or code system would be used by girl-phobic basement-dwellers as they bop around pretending to be elves. It's a step above jargon, intentionally meant to conceal and confuse, that only the insiders can interpret or often even recognize. This is geek perfection.

That being said, do not ever use leet in conversation with me. I will smack you, y0u 0v3rc4ff3'n473d w4ck0.



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