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(Ok, you have permission to slap me if I ever type like that in a post again.)

The first paragraph in this post is an example of "Leetspeak" which is defined by Wikipedia as:

Leet (meaning 'elite', most commonly represented as 1337) is an online culture or attitude sometimes identified by frequent use of leetspeak (a spelling convention for typed words).

Now for those of you who are leet-impaired here is a translation of my first paragraph:

Today we are going to learn about how the Internet has changed the way people communicate.

Once the Internet gained popularity with the general public, the way people communicated started changing.

Leetspeak began when computer hackers wanted a way to communicate with each other within programs they wrote and shared with others. They left messages embedded in the programs using leetspeak. It was also used on the Internet so "the man" (forum moderators, anyone else doing surveilance online) would not know what they were saying. Hence the word "elite" because you had to be "in the know" in order to understand what was being said.

This form is also popular with online gamers and can also annoy the heck out you if you are trying to communicate with someone who insists on ONLY using leetspeak.

Here are some examples of leetspeak (definitions from Wikipedia):

rox0rz - "rocks"

r0x0rz my b0x0rz - (a phrase expressing approval, especially of something computer-related) for example, the "x0rz" in "b0x0rz" and "r0x0rz" is often pronounced as "ksors". Originally in this phrase "b0x0rz" refers not to "boxers" (i. e. underwear) but actually to "boxes" (in computer slang, computers). The more naive interpretation "rocks your boxers" is still meaningful however as the sentiment is much the same.

w00t - interjection analogous to "woohoo!" It originates from the word "r00t", meaning the h4x0r has gained root access to a system thus proving their l33tness or others have their origin coming from rap songs, or even the sound a rabbit makes (ok I made that last one up). So many origin stories, so little time to explain them all.

teh - typo for "the" and sometimes used in front of a verb, turning it into a species of compound noun chain or also sometimes used as an intensifier: "He is teh lame"

PWN - to "own" or otherwise completely dominate. Probably originated as a typographical error, or typo, of the word "own"; Originated due to the proximity of the p and o keys.

hax0r - "hacker". It is possible that the substitution of "ck" with "x" is a linguistic nod to the Greek letter chi (see TeX for the original example of this). Also, haxor is sometimes found as "haxxor", as symbols for "x" are often doubled. Sometimes used as a verb, i.e. "I haxx0r you" or "OMG U HAX!!"

In some cases, because the exclamation symbol (!) resides on the same key as the number one ("1"), over-exclamation can be accidentally typed with extraneous digits, owing to the excitement of the typist: y0 d00d th1s 5h1zZ47 R0Xx0rzZ!!!!!11

Later on, and much to the chagrin of English teachers all over the nation, a different form of slang sprung up on the Internet. It started out in chat rooms in forums but has know gained mainstream status thanks to instant and text messaging. This language is known simply as Internet slang.

Internet slang is simply abbreviations used in order to save keystrokes when typing up a message. Here are some common ones (definitions from Wikipedia):

IMHO (in my humble/honest opinion)
AFAIK (as far as I know)
AFK (Away from Keyboard)
lol – laugh(ing) out loud
brb – be right back/bathroom break
gtg/g2g – got to go
l8r or cul8r – (see you) later
rofl – rolling on floor laughing
ty – thank you
ttyl – talk to you later
bbl – be back later
ihm – i hate myself
wombat – Waste of Money, Brains, and Time
nm – Not much (sometimes never mind)

With the exception of leetspeak, I use abbrevations a lot when I'm using an instant messaging program or text messaging. Some people are quick to decry the use of Internet slang but I see nothing wrong with using it online. It's not like I'm rewriting the Magna Carta here. I'm just sending out simple messages to friends. Now when people start using that in work memos or research papers then that is taking it too far.

If you want to have some fun, or just really annoy me in the comment section, try out this Leetspeak translator.

If you are a parent who has kids who are always instant messaging your friends and you have no clue what they are saying, this article from Microsoft may help. I think it's hilarious, but it does have some good points.

Anyway that is all for today's lesson, hope u guys have a gr8 weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!11!1!!