The Lost Phenomenon

my 63n3r4710n l1v3d 1n 4 6l0r10u5 463 wh3r3 4 w0nd3rful, 4lb317 5h0r7-l1v3d, ph3n0m3n0n w45 b07h b0rn. l3375p34k w45 7h3 l4n6u463 0f 4 5ub537 0f y0u7h, 4n 4r71f4c7 0f 7h3 4d0l35c3nc3 b37w33n 7h3 63n3r4710n wh1ch cr3473d c0mpu73r5 4nd 7h3 63n3r4710n 7h47 w45 r4153d by 7h3m. w3 d1dn’7 51mply 7yp3 “b00b135” 1n c4lcul470r5, n0r d1d w3 h4v3 4cc355 70 7h3 v457 4rr4y 0f kn0wl3d63 4v41l4bl3 0nl1n3. n0, 50m30n3 51mply 0b53rv3d 7h47 50m3 l3773r5, numb3r5, 4nd 5ymb0l5 l00k3d 51m1l4r… 4nd w3 cr3473d 0ur 0wn 537 0f h13r06lyph5. 17’5 4 5m4ll 7h1n6, un1mp0r74n7 1n 7h3 6r4nd 5ch3m3 0f 7h3 un1v3r53. bu7 f0r 7h3 p30pl3 b0rn 1n 7h3 463 0f cd-r0m5 4nd d14l-up 1n73rn37, 1n 7h3 3r4 0f 41m 4nd my5p4c3, l3375p34k d0m1n473d 7h3 l4nd5c4p3.

[Translation: My generation lived in a glorious age where a wonderful, albeit short-lived, phenomenon was both born. Leetspeak was the language of a subset of youth, an artifact of the adolescence between the generation which created computers and the generation that was raised by them. We didn’t simply type “BOOBIES” in calculators, nor did we have access to the vast array of knowledge available online. No, someone simply observed that some letters, numbers, and symbols looked similar… and we created our own set of hieroglyphs. It’s a small thing, unimportant in the grand scheme of the universe. But for the people born in the age of CD-ROMs and dial-up internet, in the era of AIM and MySpace, leetspeak dominated the landscape.]

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