I’m going to digress from talking about memes and take some time to explore the Internet ‘language’ known as Leet.
The Leet ‘language’ is actually an alternative alphabet system with uses a combination of numbers and other keyboard characters to replace normal letters. So for example, Leet is spelled 1337 (1=L, 3=E and 7=T).
It was originally developed on bulletin board systems way back in the 1980s. One theory is that Leet actually came about so that people chatting on the boards could get around the text filters which picked up ‘forbidden’ topics like hacking and cracking.
It developed from there and then became a way to show off your knowledge of the in-joke. Lately though, Leet has become a part of ‘mainstream’ Internet culture and slang, and is even considered cheesy by ‘those in the know’. It is now also used to mock newbies (N00BZ), or newcomers, on web sites, or in gaming communities.
Why did they call it ‘Leet’?
Leet comes from ‘Eleet’ – which originated from ‘Elite status’ on Bulletin Board systems. Initially, the word leet was used as an adjective, to primarily describe ‘elite’ accomplishments.
Besides simply replacing letters with numbers, Leet also has it’s own vocabulary.
Haxors or Haxorz is a common term meaning ‘hacker’ (and often it’s actually used in a self deprecating way or to insult someone).
Pwn is derived from ‘own’ and means the domination or humiliation of a rival (in an argument or video game, for example), or the successful hacking of a website or computer.
A lot of Leet words contain deliberate misspellings – and pwn is a prime example. The letter P is right next to the letter O on the keyboard, and so it might have originally been a common misspelling, which became an in-joke, and then eventually a standard word that everyone used.
LOL teh N00b Suxorz!!!!111one11!
If you don’t know that LOL stands for ‘Laugh Out Loud’, you should really get out more. LOL is considered to be part of Leet, but really this term has become so mainstream its practically a part of the English language by now.
Again, teh is deliberate misspelling which originated from people typing ‘the’ fast and making the error. It has been adopted as a part of Leet speak, and people deliberately type it incorrectly.
Noob or N00b is derived from, newbie (as in new and inexperienced or uninformed). Apparently, there is a widely accepted separation of the definitions of newb and n00b: a newb is merely new to something (usually the person also wants to learn more), which is forgivable, while a n00b continues to engage in "newb" behaviours long after they should know better (and usually refuses to learn). Generally the term N00b is insulting!
Suxxors or suxorz means to suck. The opposite of Suxxor is roxxor (to rock, basically) and both can be used as a verb or a noun.
Over exclamation is another common feature of Leet. When chatting in chat rooms or playing games online, people would often overemphasise, ending their sentences with many exclamation marks (so for example “Pwnage!!!!!”). Of course, people would end typing ‘1’ instead of ‘!’ (because they haven’t pressed the shift key down). As this was such a common mistake, people started making it on purpose, as a joke. The joke has evolved, and now people actually type out the number (for example: “I pwn!!11one!1!” or in the case of extreme sarcasm: “OMG!!!!111!11shiftone1!11shift1!!1111capslock1!one12131”)