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Old 01-10-2003, 03:45 PM
siece is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1
Actually, leet began earlier than that, as a way of conserving memory. When the idea of having computers talk to each other was new, every bit was like gold, since the size of peoples' hard drives was usually measured in ks, if they had one at all. Since every character eats up 8 bits, shortening 'to' into '2' and so on was pretty much mandatory. A message like the (long) one Novelty used above simply wouldn't fit down the pipe.

Later, it became a cost isue in terms of bandwidth. Even today, anyone stu^H^H^Hunfortunate enough to be using my local phone company's internet service is paying by the bit for their surfing habit.

Subsitution entered the picture when people decided they wanted to bypass various keyword filters. Clueless sysadmins then added the subbed in words to their block list, and 1337s invented new subsitutions. Things snowballed from there, and the war continues to the present day.

BTW, the Jargon File can be found here: http://tuxedo.org/jargon/