TEh INTeRn3T i5 THr3@+EN1N9 t0 Ch@n93 thE W4Y wE $p34k


uniquely dreadful
Valued Senior Member
(Translation: The Internet is threatening to change the way we speak.)

For years, heavy users of Internet games and chat groups have conversed in their own written language, often indecipherable to outsiders. Now, some of those online words are gaining currency in popular culture -- even in spoken form.

Online gamers use "pwn" to describe annihilating an opponent, or owning them. The word came from misspelling "own" by gamers typing quickly and striking the letter P instead of the neighboring letter O. Other words substitute symbols or numbers for similar-looking letters, such as the number 3 for the letter E. The language is sometimes called elite speak, or leetspeak, written as l33t 5p34k.

There is no standardized code. The letter A, for example, can have several replacements, including 4, /\, @ , /-\, ^, and aye.

As the Internet becomes more prevalent, leetspeak, including acronyms that used to appear only in text messages like "LOL" for laughing out loud, is finding a voice.

The words' growing offline popularity has stoked the ire of linguists, parents and others who denounce them as part of a broader debasement of the English language.

"There used to be a time when people cared about how they spoke and wrote," laments Robert Hartwell Fiske, who has written or edited several books on proper English usage, including one on overused words titled "The Dimwit's Dictionary."

When a reader of his online journal, called the Vocabula Review, proposed "leet," as in leetspeak, for his list of best words, Mr. Fiske rejected it.

"Leet: slang for 'good' or 'great,' apparently, and 'idiotic,' certainly," he wrote on the Vocabula Web site. "Leet" is in dictionaries with other meanings, including a soft-finned fish.

But leetspeak's growing appeal, and use among the un-cool, could undermine it. "Now moms are saying, 'LOL,' so that takes away from it," says Mr. Cale of the Internet show "Pure Pwnage."

A couple of years ago, Katherine Blashki, a professor of new media studies, didn't understand some of the words used by her students at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Her subsequent, semester-long research on the subject found their use of leetspeak stemmed partly from wanting to find faster ways to express themselves online. As with other forms of jargon, it also enhanced a sense of belonging to a community, she says.

"It's ultimately about creating a secret language that can differentiate them from others, like parents," says Ms. Blashki. "That's part of being a teenager."

I thought my speech was just fine and still do. It's my writing that has gone to shit but hey that's life on the net!;)
Both I'd say. The younger you are the easier it is for you to adapt to this new form of writing.
Neither. How can it be convenience if you are using the exact same # of keystrokes? And it can't be carelessness because the spelling is correct, you are just using different symbols for the letters.
Its like code amoung kids. So the parents can't quickly read it. So they can recognize if another kid is typing. Its like LOL, OMG, but fancier.
Nice post sam.

I can't stand what I call "I.M." writing. I can understand it's use in texting, when you are paying for each letter..or in IM, when someone is sitting there waiting for you to finish typing...but when it starts creeping into formal writing, it really bugs me. For me...it makes it much more difficult to follow the "flow" of the sentence.

I have my own little "forum" way of writing....where I use multiple periods to indicate pauses of different durations. My goal is to make the reader's job easier, so they can follow the "flow" of the sentence, that I intended.

To me, using IM in "regular" writing is lazy...It makes the writer's job easier, only to make the reader's job harder.
I type fairly formally online, only ocassionally typing something like ttyl or brb. Usually that is when I am pressed for time. I like to think of my typing as a reflection of who I am, I don't dress sloppily or speak in slang so I try not to type sloppily or use internet slang. I think that most adults who can type are alligned with my point of view.
I have my own little "forum" way of writing, where I use multiple periods to indicate pauses of different durations.
Why don't you just use the punctuation marks that have already been established for that purpose? I rewrote your sentence with a comma instead of your own non-standard extended ellipsis and I think it makes it more readable. The real problem with that sentence is not the punctuation, but the grammar. "Where" is a very imprecise way to link those two clauses together, which should be reserved for the most casual speech. Here are better alternatives to use in writing:
  • I have my own little "forum" way of writing, in which I use multiple periods to indicate pauses of different durations.
  • I have my own little "forum" way of writing: I use multiple periods to indicate pauses of different durations.
  • I have my own little "forum" way of writing: multiple periods indicate pauses of different durations.
Notice that the third option saves the most keystrokes and is easiest to read.