Some of you who know me know that I’m terribly amused with “hacker”-speak. Or ‘leet-speak, or 1337 5p34k. I have to confess that I myself dabbled in such language, employing a relatively mild form of alternate-capitalization as my handle for online games at one point. Have I grown out of it? I don’t know. I look down on it whenever people use it to really communicate, but it’s great for making jokes and stuff like that. “I Pwn3d j00” hahaha…

Anyway, this sort of language has reached the stage where everyone knows (or should know) *something* about it. So… anyway, have a look at this Microsoft article about it. I have to say it doesn’t seem terribly precise, but it’s very well written. At least it has some sort of structure. Its structure and grammar would probably get an A in, I don’t know, high school sometime.

Here it is: [Microsoft: A parent’s primer to computer slang]: .

Honestly, they’ve tried very hard to be all correct and precise– an effort which should be undoubtedly applauded. Yet I still take exception to defining “woot” as “we own the other team”. Does it really mean that? It’s certainly not used that way too often. I usually see it as some “cool” way of saying “woohoo!” or “yipee!” And I’m pretty darn sure that \o/ doesn’t mean the same thing.

Of course, some people will never get this. They’re probably the same people who don’t get “all your base are belong to us”. But hey, if you happen to be one of them, fear not. Take this opportunity to be exposed to it, and don’t feel bad that you had better things to do than make up a silly language to make you and your pals feel more cool.

(Real hackers, of course, probably look very, very, strongly downward upon this “hackerspeak” as a means of communication, since real hackers don’t really care about perceived “coolness”– they just like finding interesting solutions to problems.)

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