Do you know what your kids are up to online? Of course you do! You’ve blocked all the porn sites, set up filters, and even have a monitoring program to let you know if your kids are talking about sex, or porn, or meeting up with “uncle bob” from the chat room. You’re a smart parent, but you'd be shocked if you knew what your kids were really talking about online.
There’s a new trend popular among teenage chatters, and your filters won’t pick up any of it. It’s called l33tspeak, netspeak or just plain internet slang (leet speak from the word elite). You know what I’m talking about. Acronyms like lol, wtf, bbiab, and nm. Today's kids are also lazy, and use single letter words: U replaces you, R replaces are, o replaces oh, m replaces am etc…
Less popular, but still widely used (especially in games) is true l33tspeak, which involves using numbers instead of letters. 4 replaces A, 3 replaces E, 7 replaces T, 1 replaces L, and $ replaces S. These are just a few examples, some of it is worse like /\/ and /\/\ , or 13 instead of B.
Today’s kids are taking their creativity to the internet, and it’s affecting the way they speak. Kids (just like computer programmers) don't like to type a lot, so they try to shorten their keystrokes whenever possible. It's not only affecting the way they speak, it's starting to affect the way they write. So bad in fact, that school teachers have even reported seeing “lol” (laughing out loud) turn up on hand-written papers. (How would you pronounce that?)