Monday, Jun. 17, 2019

1337 (Leet-speak)

By Tamara Lapinskas · July 22, 2013

Could you read the leetspeak without using the translation? <span>&copy;  </span>

Could you read the leetspeak without using the translation?


1. h3110. H0w 4r3 u 70d4y?

2. Hello. How are you today?

The first line is written in leetspeak, also known as elite, leet, or hakspeak, which is an alternate alphabet that uses ASCII to replace certain letters. Leet is primarily used on the Internet, or with a keyboard, and acts as a substitution cipher for the English l4ngl_l4g3 (language). There is no exact dictionary for leetspeak because there are multiple options for every letter. For example, the letter ‘a’ can either be ‘@’ or ‘4’.

Leet is thought to have originated from the bulletin board system (BBS), a site on which people could reach ‘elite’ status. Since it came into fruition it has been used in other ways as well. One of these ways is to overcome text filters. If the word ‘ass’ is blocked by a text filter, you can write it in leet as ‘@$$’. It has also been used by hackers, giving it the name hakspeak, and allowing hackers to discuss topics on public forums in a language slightly more difficult to read than English.

Now, leetspeak is often used online as an easily decodable code- for privacy purposes or simply for fun. Although, as a code, leetspeak is not very secure, so if you want to send a private message it might be beneficial to use a different type of cipher.

Try your hand at leetspeak in the comment section below!

*

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