View Full Version : who knows leet?

06-10-2007, 12:01 AM
In my WIP there's a computer wiz who, at one point, is using leet, the internet shorthand thing. I found a description on wikipedia and used that as my "translator" but I can't be sure if it would be how someone would actually do it. Can someone who's experienced with that stuff tell me if the following lines make any sense?

! n33) #31p ph!n)!n6 50m30n3




06-10-2007, 01:21 AM
The first says, I need help finding someone. That's pretty heavy on the l33t, often people use about half normal letters and half numbers/punctuation. Also you're using standard vocabulary and grammar, whereas a l33t5p34k3r would use more programming/gaming terms. For example, instead of 'finding' they might say searching, IDing, fingering, lookup, query, or something like that.

In the second one, I don't know what the 2 is, but the word is something about hacking.

You might try reading the webcomic MegaTokyo it has a lot of good examples of l33t5p34k in it.

06-10-2007, 01:30 AM
Thanks. I'll try to add in more nromal letters and stuff.

06-10-2007, 01:41 AM
How about...

n33d #31p s34rCh n4m3



06-10-2007, 02:08 AM

06-10-2007, 02:29 AM

06-10-2007, 02:57 AM
I'm totally serious when I say go play Counter Strike. You will be fluent in 1337 in a matter of days.

06-10-2007, 03:43 AM
Oh, you edited/fixed it. When I first saw the OP I saw all the [FONT= stuff and couldn't figure out what was what.

But this reminds me that I am so far behind the times that I still think of this as hacker speak, or as it is more properly spelled, |-|4c|<0r 5p33|<. The word "leet" was used back then (I saw this when I was first on the web circa 1995) but I don't know when the name changed.

For your first line I might write:
|\|33|) 2 gr3p 50|\/| 1's |\|4|\/|3 (need to grep someone's name- grep is a search-in-files utility originally from the Unix OS)

And also you can (or should?) intentionally misspell words where it doesn't obfuscate things too badly, thus speech becomes speach, and speak becomes speek.

If you bave two characters speaking/writing/chatting/texting this way, have each one use a unique set of character translations, so it will be possible (and even easy as one goes along) to see which one is "speaking" just by reading their words and how they "write" them.

There's something called the Jargon File (google or Wikipedia it) that's been around since the '70's that was the basis of the book "The Hacker's Dictionary" from 1983, and there have been two more editions. I'm looking at "The New Hacker's Dictionary" 3rd edition 1996, and there is very little mention of this type of spelling. Under the entry for elite it says"...This term is not actually hacker slang in the strict sense; it is used primarily by crackers and warez d00dz. So actually these "alphanumeric" spellings are from the CRACKER community, as opposed to the HACKER community. Now it makes perfect sense that the use of leet-speek I saw 10+ years ago was almost exclusively by those involved in "warez" and other illegal cyber activities.

06-10-2007, 10:15 AM
Ooh grep is good. I can't remember the last time I saw hacker spelled with a k though, it's always spelled with xes anymore. Often two: h4xx0rz

06-12-2007, 07:13 AM
If you're determined, the webcomic Megatokyo features l337-sp34ki|\|g characters.

Some pertinent/basic-type comics:

It s33ms lik3 m0s+ 0f |_|s spl!+ be+\/\/33n |\|u|\/|b3rs 4|\|d l3tt3rz. j00 s+4rt t|-|r0\/\/in w3!rd s+|_|ff i|\| 4nd I g3t (0|\|fus3d. Pl|_|s i+'z h4rd3r to r34d 4|\|d t'/p3.

Why does the person have to sp34k l337, though? I know I tend to slip into it when I'm feeling silly or trying to convey a particularly fangirly moment.

06-12-2007, 07:56 AM
How readable do you want it to be? Do you want readers to be able to read over it quickly and auto-translate, or do you want them to stare at it a few minutes trying to figure out what it says? (as is the case with your first attempt)

Also, if they're talking in a chat program, they're likely not going to take time to replace every single character with something else. More likely they're going to misspell some words and use numbers here or there, and various slang terms that are spelled with letters but need to be translated (such as "he was wtfpwnt" which translates into "he was what-the-fux power owned" or "he got his ass kicked")

06-12-2007, 07:59 AM
<~~ has been playing online games for 7 years

06-12-2007, 08:13 AM
Your phrases:

! n33) #31p ph!n)!n6 50m30n3
"I need help finding someone."
No one talks like this in leet speak. Go more improper / broken English. "u seen teh so-and-so?"

Superfluous letters for the win: "h4x0rz" or simply "hax!" will do. "z" is very popular to put at the end, or even the beginning, of some words, so use it liberally.

Misspell as many words as possible.
the = teh (this is almost a must)
lies = LIEZ!
oh really? = O RLY?
no way = NO WAI
f*** = fokk, fux, etc. "omgz teh fokk?" is omigod what the f***?

Does that help?

Actually you know what, just go look up some posts by BenPanced. His signature and saying above his avatar are pretty self explanatory and a good example of gamer leet speak.