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[P]
A linguistic analysis of l33t

By LilDebbie in Culture
Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:47:27 PM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

Procrastinating as usual, I sat down at a public computer and composed this piece for my Culture and Language class offered by the Linguistics Department of the University of Minnesota. Reading over the assignment, my two options included one research-intensive assignment and one I felt I could do on the fly: describe a "secret" language. Thinking for a moment, I decided to do a paper on l33t speak which I provide here for your amusement.

And yes, I got an A.


Secret Languages: l33t Speak

l33t speak is the most common dialect of the internet. It is shared by gamers, hackers, and many other computer users. As a language, it is probably the most elastic, changing in form and usage at least every year. l33t speak began in the eighties as a method of concealing confidential messages between hackers from FBI keyword filters that constantly scanned newsgroups like alt.hack and IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channels such as #hack. The language began simply enough with numbers transposing vowels as in the word "3l1t3," which is derived by replacing the e's with threes and the i with a one. Like all languages though, it grew more complex and further from English as time passed.

"j00 d34d f00," is a common phrase one sees when playing games like Quake or Unreal Tournament, both first-person shooters where the goal is to kill everyone who isn't on your team. That simple phrase translates directly as, "you are dead, fool," however a more practical translation is "I am about to kill you." Note the two new rules used in the word "j00." First, there is the replacement of the normal ou with two zeroes, retaining the same pronunciation. Secondly, the y is replaced with a j, as in the contraction "didja." Also note how the l has been dropped from "fool," which normally isn't required, but is dropped to maintain symmetry with "j00."

Let us look at a more complex phrase: 1 4m 1337 h4x0r, d00d. 1 0WnZ3d j00! Here we are introduced to several new structures. To begin, note the word "1337." This is actually the word "elite" in one of its many spellings (also note that l33t is another incarnation of "elite," the languages name). We have strayed from the original rule of replacing only vowels with numbers and have an entire word spelled with numbers. There are many different ways to replace various letters with numbers and other symbols, too numerous to approach here. Of greater interest are the words "h4x0r" and "0WnZ3d." "h4x0r" was originally a term for a hacker, but has since become a more generalized term for someone who is very skilled in any particular activity (usually Quake). The rule that changes the suffix "ck" into "x0r" applies to several other words as well. Examples include "sUx0rz," "pHuX0r," and "r0x0rz," the words "sucks," "fuck," and "rocks" respectively. One can create a verb out of these words by adding the suffix "3d" as in "h4x0r3d," which means to hack, nominally. This rule is demonstrated with the word "0WnZ3d," which roughly means to defeat someone, usually in a first person shooter.

Given enough time, a standard English speaker might be able to work his or her way through a text written in l33t, however, one who is not fluent in reading l33t will have a difficult time producing it. During the days of its formation, speaking l33t was merely a manner of being creative with text. Since then, like any language, rules of grammar have dominated this bizarre off shoot from colloquial English.

Further reading:
http://www.planetquake.com/turkey/l33t_a.htm
An example of archaic l33t speak:
http://www.cultdeadcow.com/cDc_files/cDc-0329.txt

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Related Links
o University of Minnesota.
o http://www .planetquake.com/turkey/l33t_a.htm
o http://www.cultdeadcow.com/cDc_files/cDc-0329.txt
o Also by LilDebbie


Display: Sort:
A linguistic analysis of l33t | 64 comments (56 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
You got an A? (4.50 / 8) (#1)
by enterfornone on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:54:22 AM EST

For a four paragraph essay? Do all US universities have such low standards?

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
No (3.00 / 2) (#2)
by qpt on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:56:49 AM EST

Some do, though.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

doesnt "essay" imply "short"?? (none / 0) (#3)
by evilpckls on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:00:41 AM EST


-------
"This is proof that fish geeks are just weird. You look like you've wet your pants, and I have a fish in my coat." --nstenz
[ Parent ]

Certainly not in Australia (none / 0) (#20)
by axxeman on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 07:33:05 AM EST

But who knows what you USians are smokin'

Desperately need Egyptologist. Can you help?
[ Parent ]

i dont know either (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by evilpckls on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 11:42:07 AM EST

but damn, this is good stuff

-------
"This is proof that fish geeks are just weird. You look like you've wet your pants, and I have a fish in my coat." --nstenz
[ Parent ]

Aussies are odd :-) (none / 0) (#32)
by UncleMikey on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:03:05 PM EST

In the United States education system (and I use the term with a grain of salt), 'essay' implies a short piece, usually no more than five paragraphs long and capable of fitting on one or two pages. A longer assignment is called simply a 'paper', and a really long one requiring significant, documented research is often called a 'term paper' (because the grade you get for it is a major component of your grade for the entire term).
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#41)
by enterfornone on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:18:59 PM EST

Well Debbie actually described it as a paper. I called it an essay because we never use the term "paper" to describe such an assignment.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
I doubt that (none / 0) (#57)
by Rizzen on Mon Feb 25, 2002 at 01:58:54 AM EST

Are you sure it is as wide-spread as that, or just local to your school experiences?? I've found that the terms "essay", "paper", and "term paper" are all interchangeable words describing a writing assignment. The assignment itself denotes the criteria for length, breadth, and depth of research and content. The only difference between a "paper" and a "term paper" is how much of your term mark depends on the assignment.

I've had writing assignment that had to be less than 5 pages (double-spaced) worth more than some assignments that had to be a minimum of 5 pages (single-spaced).

The only real differences between the terms noted above, that I've come across in my (to date) 18 years of schooling is that no matter what you call them, writing assignments are rarely fun. :)
The years of peak mental activity are undoubtedly those between the ages of 4 and 18. At age four, we know all the questions; at eighteen, all the answers.
[ Parent ]
Not in the US either... (none / 0) (#58)
by Y on Tue Mar 05, 2002 at 11:01:15 AM EST

An essay is simply a non-fictional work written with the purpose to enlighten an audience or convince them of some truth. At least that's the definition in my neck of the woods. And I agree (as someone with a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics) that this essay is a bit thin. Two examples a linguistic analysis does not make.

Now, granted, there's no need to go plumbing the depths needed to entitle the analysis "0wnz: A Study on the Promotion of Semantically Bleached English Verbs in Internet Chatroom Colloquialisms." However, a proper linguistic analysis would mean picking some corpuses (e.g., chatroom logs) and methodically going through them, noting where semantics, syntax, or morphology shift from their functions in standard English.

[ Parent ]

depends on what the essay was for (5.00 / 1) (#7)
by Delirium on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:18:39 AM EST

If the assignment was to write a short essay, even your fancy foreign universities would hopefully give low marks for a 50-paragraph monstrosity. =P

Not that this is particularly the pinnacle of short essay writing, but being able to write a good one-page essay is a rather rare skill; writing a good 10-page essay is far easier.

[ Parent ]

euro's on exchange getting straight A's. ? (4.00 / 1) (#43)
by naru on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 07:06:34 PM EST

I often wondered about the level of education you encounter in America. While never having been there myself, four of my former classmates went on an exchange year to the US of A. They were spread out as follows: one each in Albany NY, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and another girl somewhere on the west coast. Interestingly enough every single one of them was a straight A student instantly. They all told me in unisono that school was just really easy for them. And mind you, they were average in my class before they left. (And after they returned some of them even more so, which was of course to be expected.)

So what's my point? returning back to that "essay", i would have to say I'd probably have gotten a 4,5-4.75 (on a scale from 1 being the worst to 6 being perfect) back when I was in school. It really seems to me that americans do not differentiate above a certain level and just throw A's at you.

[ Parent ]
agreed (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by enterfornone on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 01:20:36 AM EST

One guy I knew went to the US for a year - he was in the bottom 25% of his year here (Australia) and one of the top in the US. He claimed the stuff he was doing in the US was 2 or 3 years behind the equivilant year in Australia.

Former Australian federal opposition leader Dr John Hewson was often accused of not being a real doctor since he earned his PhD in Economics from a US university.

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]
Grades, size don't matter (none / 0) (#46)
by Skwirl on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 08:09:43 PM EST

First of all, there's nothing worse than a eight page paper with only two pages worth of facts. Secondly, it's human nature for a prof to give a better grade on a paper that makes them go "hmm, I did not know that," than one that's technically superior but derivative and trite.

That being said, my experience is that standards vary between teachers, and probably do so all over the world. But thanks for generalizing the entire US higher education system because of a single paper.



--
"Nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself." -- Herman Hesse
[ Parent ]
l33t Language Resources... (4.80 / 5) (#5)
by 90X Double Side on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:12:28 AM EST

There are several essential tools for anyone who want's to be l33t. You can use the L33T-SP34K G3N3RAT0R!!!!### to convert entire documents into l33t, and of course you can use Google in hacker to avoid having to use any english language interface during your L33+ H4C|I|\|g @Ct1\/1+1e5. ;)

“Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity”
—Alvy Ray Smith
m4ch1n3 tr4ns|4t0rz 4r3 1n4d3qu4t3 (4.00 / 4) (#6)
by Delirium on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:16:52 AM EST

4s 4ny fr3qu3n7 us3r 0f b4bbl3f1sh k4n t3ll j00, m4ch1n3 tr4ns|4t0rs 4r3 w03fu||y 1n4d3qu4t3; r33tn3ss 1s gn0 d1ff3r3nt. 1n p4rt1cul4r, 3y3 us3 4 f41r b1t 0f 1d10m wh3n r1t17ng d1s l33t sh1t; j00r aut0m4t1c skr1p7z k4nn0t 4r3 l1k3ly t0 r3nd3r 1t r0ng 0r n0t 4t 4ll.

[ Parent ]
Other google languages (5.00 / 3) (#13)
by lovelace on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:32:51 AM EST

The google language features are fairly interesting. I noticed they also include the swedish chef (bork, bork, bork!) and elmer translators that have been around forever. P.S. Try taking a look at the language page in either one of those languages.. :-)

[ Parent ]
What? (4.57 / 7) (#10)
by m0rzo on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:37:05 AM EST

l33t speak is the most common dialect of the internet.

Is that an actual fact or did you fabricate it? I must have been missing something...


My last sig was just plain offensive.

facts? (none / 0) (#12)
by LilDebbie on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:09:54 AM EST

I can't say that I did any statistical research for this statement (the whole thing was written in about 20 minutes), but given my personally experience, I feel fairly confident in making that statement. By dialect, I mean a common way of speaking, not necessarily a language (that would obviously be english).

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Take a look at AOL some time ... (none / 0) (#17)
by Kalani on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 05:40:56 AM EST

... ebonics is much more popular than 31337.

-----
"I [think] that ultimately physics will not require a mathematical statement; in the end the machinery will be revealed and the laws will turn out to be simple, like the checker board."
--Richard Feynman
[ Parent ]
So what I'm writing isn't in a dialect? (none / 0) (#18)
by Lionfire on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 06:05:40 AM EST

I'd say "Americanized" English is the most prominent dialect I have to read every day, but there are plenty of other English dialects that are more widely used than 1337. English may be a language, but it is certainly broken into a number of dialects.

I think someone has been spending too much time playing Quake with their friends, and not enough time looking at the actual content out there on the Internet (or reading their textbooks). You might even be suprised to find that there are other, non-English languages on the `net, many of which are also in more common usage than 1337.



[ blog | cute ]
[ Parent ]
Well I'd say... (4.00 / 1) (#25)
by m0rzo on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 09:56:06 AM EST

that most 'dialect' on the internet is much the same as text messaging; i.e. phonetics (e.g. r u goin 2morrow?) not 'l33t'. I've always thought of l33t as some sort of archaic memory of days gone by, when people roamed the bbs boards. I can honestly say that I have never seen anyone using hAx0r language seriously online.


My last sig was just plain offensive.
[ Parent ]

I had never seen the term 0wnz3d before today (4.66 / 6) (#11)
by Tim_F on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:01:33 AM EST

Usually when I see someone "l33tifying" the word own, it's done as: "j00r 455 h45 b33n 0wnz0r3d." or: "j00 0wnz0r" It could be something from your area of the planet, but it could also be from certain specific websites you read and hang out. Interesting case study idea: How does 1337 5p34k differ between web boards as opposed to geographical locations?

the verb "2 0wn" (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by velex on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 08:02:43 PM EST

It seems as though "0wnz0r" is a misconjugation of "2 0wn". The proper conjugation for "3y3" is "0wn"; "j00" is "0wnz". However, "0wnz0r" seems to be a misinterpretation of the rule to make a gerund, as in "h4x0r" from "2 h4x". The past tense of any verb is usually the same rule as in english: "2 0wn" becomes "0wn3d"; "2 h4x" becomes "h4xx3d". (Ending "x"es seem to be repeated on conjugations of verbs.)



[ Parent ]
On the 1337 tpoic... (none / 0) (#16)
by Zeram on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:31:50 AM EST

Did anyone happen to catch the movie Max Knight Ultra Spy on the SciFi channel the other night? It was hilarious hearing people actually useing really horrible 1337 speak.
<----^---->
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
More details ? (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by bugmaster on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 09:08:04 AM EST

I rated this as +1; I did not give it FP because the article seems too short. It would be interesting to read a paper (written by an actual linguist) that describes how 1337-sp33k has changed the meanings of certain words. For example, "0wn" does not mean "to possess"; instead, it means "to defeat", as the article rightly states. Another example is "w00t!", which means, loosely, "hell yeah !". It would be interesting to read about the etymology of such words.
>|<*:=
For a university's 'A' on this, -1 (3.00 / 5) (#22)
by Shovas on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 09:18:22 AM EST

Greetings,

If this wasn't an exact copy of your paper and the real version was much better, than why not put that here? If this is the real paper, than my -1 is justified. This is of very poor quality and I'm horrified any university would give this an A. Besides being rather useless, however, it would've been worth a 0 or +1 S maybe. The fact that this got an A, however, is a bit too much.

Farewell,
---
Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
---
Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
Uhm... (none / 0) (#36)
by bunsen on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:03:34 PM EST

Once you grasp the difference between 'Topical' and 'Editorial,' you can criticize others' style and grammar. Until then, I suggest focusing your critical eye on your own work.

---
Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq] (n)
[ Parent ]
Good observation - Point still stands NT (none / 0) (#39)
by Shovas on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:02:49 PM EST


---
Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
---
Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
[ Parent ]
What is the world coming to? (3.80 / 5) (#24)
by jabber on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 09:23:56 AM EST

How can a 4 paragraph paper earn an A at a major State University?? I weep for the future. *sniff*

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

If the assignment... (none / 0) (#33)
by UncleMikey on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:05:53 PM EST

...was a four paragraph paper, and she wrote any more than that, I would expect her to receive an F.
--
[ Uncle Mikey | Radio Free Tomorrow ]
[ Parent ]
The assignment was _not_... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
by Shovas on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 12:50:34 PM EST

Greetings,

Write four paragraphs with numerous grammatical and spelling errors and weak references. Nor was it write a poorly structured essay. I gave this a -1, as well, and rightly so. If this is truly the crap prof's are giving A's for, I weep right along this comment' s originator. It is deeply angering.

Farewell,
---
Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
---
Disagree? Post. Don't mod.
[ Parent ]
On the origins of j00 (4.33 / 3) (#26)
by X3nocide on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 09:59:33 AM EST

As far as I can tell, the j in 'j00' originates from the vast amount Brasilian and other spanish/portuguese speaking areas. The number of percieved vocal brasilian warez pups with their mix of broken english and l33t result in phrases like "ME AM BR4S1l!" Anyways, in these languages, j's are pronounced like English y's. you becomes jou, which turns into j00 to avoid looking stupid and French.

At one time perhaps, l33t speak was reguarded highly. But nowadays, the various splintered scenes reguard 133t speak as a tool of mockery, indicating relative newness and complete followership. e.g. "d00d, j00r getting a d3ll!"

133t speak is corny, and used accordingly. I refer you to megatokyo, EFnet or /..


pwnguin.net
Regarding the letter j (none / 0) (#40)
by Flavio on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 04:06:41 PM EST

Since when is 'j' pronounced in Portuguese or Spanish as an English 'y'? In both cases it corresponds to (different) phonemes which don't exist in English and which sound very different from a 'y'.

You are correct about the vast amount of Brazilian wanna-be crackers with broken English, but check your facts regarding your alleged origin of "joo".

[ Parent ]
Almost right... (none / 0) (#42)
by El Volio on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 06:42:29 PM EST

He had it almost right. In Spanish (no idea about Portuguese), "y" and "ll" are often pronounced like the English "j". Just got it flipped around a bit.

[ Parent ]
german? (none / 0) (#44)
by velex on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 07:56:06 PM EST

I'd always though that it was a typo that had roots in German, where "j" is pronounced like "y". I've never studied the etymology, though.



[ Parent ]
Ja. (none / 0) (#49)
by nstenz on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 09:32:54 PM EST

That could be.

Oder... Das stimmt.

[ Parent ]

Don't quote me on this... (none / 0) (#59)
by Y on Tue Mar 05, 2002 at 11:17:47 AM EST

... but I think the mispelling actually comes from an analogy with certain Caribbean English dialects. Many reggae records have titles of songs with the word "ja" (dja:) in them. The word stands for the 2nd person pronoun (singular and plural) in the dialect of the artist, e.g., "Oh, I loves ja."

It might also/rather come from Ebonics. Take the phrase "Whatchoo lookin' at?" (wacu: lukIn aet). The orthography follows the pronunciation, and eventually the word break is shifted so that "you" becomes "joo." This might be a stretch, but I suggest it because it seems that a lot of American colloquial speech borrows heavily from Ebonics, especially within the "wired" culture. Just a thought, anyway.

[ Parent ]

You're pushing it WAY too far (none / 0) (#47)
by Flavio on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 08:18:07 PM EST

He had it very far from "almost right".

First of all, this person was making a point mainly about Portuguese, which he clearly knows nothing about.

Second, the "y" and "ll" are only in some places[1] pronounced as a much more subtle version of the English "j". Both sounds don't correspond to the same phoneme.

Third, get your logic straight. The fact that the Spanish "y" may be pronounced remotely resembling the English "j" only means you could change "j" in English words for "y", and not the other way around. For example, "strawberry jam" would be "strawberry yam", but "you" wouldn't be "joo".

The reverse correspondence you defend would only be true in languages such as Swedish or German, where the "j" is spoken like the English "y" or "i".

So you don't second guess me, I'm a native Portuguese speaker and have spoken Spanish for all my literate life (so yeah, I know a fair amount of it).

--
[1] Like Chile and Argentina, unlike Spain.

[ Parent ]
In Portugese perhaps, but not Spanish... (none / 0) (#52)
by Obvious Pseudonym on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 03:17:40 AM EST

Third, get your logic straight. The fact that the Spanish "y" may be pronounced remotely resembling the English "j" only means you could change "j" in English words for "y", and not the other way around. For example, "strawberry jam" would be "strawberry yam", but "you" wouldn't be "joo".

I bow to your knowledge of Portugese as I do not speak a word of it, but you are wrong here about Spanish

My wife (who is Spanish) often pronounces English words begining with 'y' as if they begin with 'j'. So do her friends and family when they speak English. Similarly, they often pronounce words beginning with 'w' as if they begin with 'g'.

It may be that there is a difference between mainland Spanish and South-American Spanish.

Obvious Pseudonym

I am obviously right, and as you disagree with me, then logically you must be wrong.
[ Parent ]

OMG, pay attention! (none / 0) (#53)
by Flavio on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 08:31:08 AM EST

I bow to your knowledge of Portugese (sic) as I do not speak a word of it, but you are wrong here about Spanish

My wife (who is Spanish) often pronounces English words begining with 'y' as if they begin with 'j'. So do her friends and family when they speak English. Similarly, they often pronounce words beginning with 'w' as if they begin with 'g'.

I know, but pay attention to what I wrote: Spanish speakers may read the "y" as a "j", but it would be senseless to write "jou" instead of "you". Ask your wife to read "jou" as she would in Spanish and see if it resembles the English "you".

OTOH, it _does_ make sense to write "strawberry yam" instead of "strawberry jam", since a Spanish speaker with an accent *could* say them in a similar way.

So it's a matter of logic: the fact that your wife often pronounces English words beginning with "y" as if they begin with "j" is only an excuse to write "jam" as "yam", and not the other way around.

[ Parent ]

Calm down, it's not personal (none / 0) (#54)
by El Volio on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 11:09:30 AM EST

First of all, I think I clearly stated that I don't know anything about Portuguese (except trying to lipread those imported telenovelas dubbed into Spanish). Second, you're incorrect. This holds true not just in Chile and Argentina, but in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, and many other Spanish-speaking lands. Third, l33t-speak doesn't necessarily follow rules of logic ("h4x0r" == "hack" as an example). A Spanish speaker would actually interpret "joo" as something like "ho-oh", so the whole line of reasoning may be false. I have spoken Spanish for many years (like you, it is not my native language), and have extensive experience with a wide range of Spanish dialects and accents, not just South American ones. Believe it or not, despite the classic joke about what you call someone who only speaks one language, not all Americans are monolingual. To complete what I wrote above, I don't personally believe that "j00" and similar constructs are corruptions of Spanish or Portuguese in the first place, and may not even be imported from other languages for all I know.

[ Parent ]
Finally you get it? (none / 0) (#64)
by Tessera on Sun Mar 31, 2002 at 05:42:21 PM EST

A Spanish speaker would actually interpret "joo" as something like "ho-oh", so the whole line of reasoning may be false.

So why did bother posting the erroneous BS in the first place? As many people have said before, j00 would be ho-o. Also, from what I have seen when living Argentina is that the sound of 'y' or 'll' is nothing like that of 'j' in English. It is more...smooth? Like the french pronunciation, like a cross between 'sh' and 'j'. In "j00", it's the hard 'j' of jugular. Not to attack you, but it seems like you had the whole thing bass-ackwards from the start...

[ Parent ]
More example (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by J'raxis on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 10:22:54 AM EST

<plug type="shameless">
The 31337ness Generator, a PHP script I wrote a long time ago. Translate a sentence into 31337, or an entire website, à BabelFish.
</plug>

— The 31336.9999999999869592101 Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]

[-1]: No mention of USENET roots and culture (5.00 / 6) (#30)
by Netsnipe on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 11:43:06 AM EST

Disclaimer: seeing this submission looks like it's heading for the sections, I might as well post this editorial as a topical so that more people can become enlightened.

I was very disappointed that you did not further study the culture and peronalities that helped evolve 1337 speak. It's like writing a study of Quenya and Sindarin without even mentioning Tolkien. You should have mentioned B1FF who bought 1337 speak to the USENET community and thus establishing the lamer culture. These traditions are still upheld to this day by the nation of Something Awful who are famed for its 1337 liteary works. Most critics agree that its finest contempoary 1337 works have been produced by Jeff K during the last decade.

--
Andrew 'Netsnipe' Lau
Debian GNU/Linux Maintainer & Computer Science, UNSW

no usenet? (none / 0) (#55)
by LilDebbie on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 02:25:18 PM EST

I mentioned alt.hack, didn't I?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
a 'mention' is not substantive enough (none / 0) (#60)
by jadepearl on Mon Mar 11, 2002 at 08:17:33 PM EST

Simply mentioning alt.hack does not constitute a full explanation or description of the various BBS and usenet groups that existed. Further, in your 'history' you fail to provide a timeline of development and make very hasty generalizations in making your argument that '133t' is a bonafide offshoot of the English language. For example, how is 'l33t' different from other net jargon? How is this 'language' acquired? What is your definition of 'dominant' language? This is a very thin essay that skims the surface of what could have been a very interesting study.


"This is the philosophy I live by. I am, you are, and IT is." - Barry White
[ Parent ]

Not l33t liek JeffK (none / 0) (#61)
by jsoderba on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 02:17:33 AM EST

JeffK never (intentionally) uses l33t speak other than the word "hax0r". His horrible grammar and typing is not l33t speak.

Lowtax has stated several times on the forums that he despises l33t and all those who speak it.

Of course, in other respects, JeffK is a worthy follower of B1FF.



[ Parent ]
w00t (2.50 / 2) (#31)
by pb on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 11:55:09 AM EST

+1, FP, for the CDC link.

Also, let's hear it for leet-speak generators:

+#3 [|_||_+ ()|= +#3 |]3@|] [()\^/ |}()[|<$!

---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
Imagine how suprised I was.. (none / 0) (#35)
by QuantumG on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 01:06:12 PM EST

to find that there is a province in Paris, France called "Juarez". I had to get off the metro just to check it out. The next station is Leningrad IIRC.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
question (none / 0) (#50)
by nullchar on Thu Feb 21, 2002 at 12:10:14 AM EST

when the hell did "warez" == "juarez" (or phonetically pronounced "wear z" and "war ez" respectively)?

[ Parent ]
Common mistake... (none / 0) (#62)
by tazzy531 on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 02:32:36 AM EST

This started popping up back in hs (4 years ago).. People would be talking about downloading "illegal war-ez." Pissed me off at the time. But I think it's pretty much spread through the net that it can be pronounced war-ez or wear-z. I personally prefer the second... It's software (softwear, not softwar)

[ Parent ]
Google 534R(H (4.00 / 3) (#37)
by Malicose on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 02:11:41 PM EST

Google 534R(H is the l33t variety of Google's many international searching languages.

More! (4.00 / 7) (#38)
by cameldrv on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 03:00:14 PM EST

Please post more school papers. I am particularly interested in elementary school book reports and "what I did on my summer vacation", by Billy, age 9.

Finally a good explanation of C#... (3.50 / 2) (#48)
by dreamer on Wed Feb 20, 2002 at 08:46:39 PM EST

From
http://www.planetquake.com/turkey/l33t_a.htm

...
'ash' nouns - Much like 'at' verbs, 'ash' nouns loose their ending and gain a '#' symbol. There aren't to many nouns that end like this, but watch out and use it when you get a chance, because it'll really impress anyone on the forums who can understand it. Examples: 'backsl#' ('84ck51#') and 'c#' ('k#').
...

Someone at Microsoft has got a sense of humor?

Grammatical Analysis (4.33 / 3) (#56)
by Khedak on Fri Feb 22, 2002 at 11:52:19 AM EST

I don't think you've really done any linguistic research in this paper, nor have you even shown that 'l33t' is a language. All you've shown is that 'l33t' is a particular method of writing (a code, if you will) associated with various forms of jargon, broken English, and English colloquialisms.

Since then, like any language, rules of grammar have dominated this bizarre off shoot from colloquial English.

That's a fairly vacuous statement, not to be rude, but... I would have been interested to see more of these rules of grammar that distinguish 'l33t' as a language from English. However, at first glance it seems all you've done is described that 'l33t' has a seperate spelling system, using different symbols for representation of English phonemes (comprising English morphemes in English syntax). Now, if you can show that 'l33t' has a different phrase structure than English, or that its morphology is significantly different from English, that would have been cool. However, this isn't really much of a linguistic analysis, so much as a spelling analysis of a peculiar way of representing English orthographically.

If you want to be technical about it, you might be able to call 'l33t' a dialect of English. But it seems, at least from this description, to be a trivially different dialect from the usual colloquial English. A few words of slang does not make a whole new language, nor does a peculiar writing system.

Kiddie Scripters or true Hackers? (none / 0) (#63)
by tazzy531 on Wed Mar 13, 2002 at 02:36:44 AM EST

Just a question, do true "hackers" (use that term loosely to represent hackers and IT professionals) actually use l33t speak? To me, it just sounds corny and immature. You can almost tell whether the person that you are IRCing or IMing is a teenager or an adult just by how often/much he uses l33t speak.

My question now is, do true IT people actually use it?

A linguistic analysis of l33t | 64 comments (56 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
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