RE: [ISN] What the heck is "leetspeek?"

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Jan 15 2003 - 04:31:24 PST

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    Forwarded from: James Pavlik 
    [Try this: :)  - WK]
    I agree with the spirit of Cecil's remarks, but Leet also confounds
    most text recognition software. Like pig Latin, if you cannot
    translate on the fly, the information becomes noise.
    To text scanners, the entire conversation is broken and garbled, I.E.  
    Noise. This is seen as a benefit for those that may have computer
    literate parents or others that actually monitor their kids activities
    on the net. like pig Latin was cryptography for the sesame street
    crowd, rot13 in the early Arpanet/internet days, today's gen( XYZ? )
    have "invented" leet.
    Once you learn the rules, it is not a mystery, and I am sure that as
    we old duffers speak, somebody is coding a l33t5p33k to English
    translation programming routine to assist the over 25 crowd and "big
    brother" keep up. but for those folks that have to call the kids to
    "FIX" the VCR because it is flashing 12:00 again, its perfect. do you
    grok it?
    James Pavlik
    Forwarded from: William Knowles <wkat_private>
    Dear Cecil:
    I have an Armchair University degree in English linguistics, and I was 
    thinking about the "l33t5p33k" we see on the Net these days, as well 
    as the Princification of the language, the replacement of "you" with 
    "u" and "to" with "2," etc. Is this just bad English, or is this the 
    next step? Will the English language in 100 years look like the 
    rantings of a 15-year-old hacker as we see it now, and will numbers 
    become letters (1 = I, 2 = to, 3 = E, 4 = for, 5 = S, etc)? 
    --Montfort, via the Straight Dope Message Board
    Cecil replies: <SNIP>
    Now comes 133t5p33k, proof that the flames of intergenerational 
    antagonism burn as brightly as ever. Used mainly by teenage chat-room 
    geeks, gamers, and wannabe h4x0r5 (hackers), 133t5p33k replaces 
    standard letterforms with others looking vaguely similar, e.g., 1 for 
    L, 3 for E, 5 for S, and so on (see for a 
    rundown). Thus 133t5p33k transliterates to "leetspeek." The 
    uninitiated will now ask: What's a leet? It's short for elite, j00 
    14m3r (j = Y, 4 = A). No one is sure where the name came from, but the 
    meaning is clear enough: Only the elite (i.e., your friends, who are 
    definitely not over 40) are supposed to understand it. Leet involves 
    multiple layers of coding, the better to trip up the unhip. Thus "you 
    are" becomes u r, "the" is purposely misspelled t3h (leetists have 
    adopted common typos as a point of pride), K3W1357 means 
    kewlest/coolest, w4r3z (wares) is slang for pirated software, and so 
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