The term ‘leet’ has been around a lot longer than Google itself, let alone Google 133t. It is an alternative alphabet used on the Internet for the English language. This type of language is also called eleet or leetspeak and uses characters from the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, or ASCII, to replace certain letters of words. The word ‘eleet’ is spelled as 31337 or 3l33t with this alphabet, while ‘leet’ is spelled as 1337 or I33t. Google 133t is simply a Google search page that uses leetspeak instead of Standard English.
Across the top of this odd Google search engine page, written in leet, are the following words: normal search, images, directory, groups, preferences, and sign out. When the normal search page is shown, the words written out to the right of the search bar allow the user to do an advanced search or switch to a page that shows language tools. The two buttons below the search bar are for performing an actual search, one is the search button and the other is the standard, I’m Feeling Lucky button. Both of these, of course, are also written in leetspeak.
Searching for images through this tool bar directs the user to a page with the desired images and the writing below these images isn’t written in leetspeak. However, when an image is clicked on, the writing at the top of the page is in leet, but the actual web page is in its standard language. The directory page is a combination of both leet and Standard English, while the groups page is almost all in Standard English. The four search page choices located on the top left of the Google page are the only words that are in leetspeak on every page.
Leet actually started in the 1980s on bulletin board systems. This language was used to show that a person had elite status on the BBS. These individuals were able to have access to special chat rooms, file folders, and games. The language used to be mainly used by groups of hackers, but has since become part of mainstream computer usage. Some people use it to mock newcomers to web sites in the gaming community.
For a more encrypted communication, numbers and letters aren’t used at all, but instead a combination of symbols. This can be very tricky, since many of the symbols used do not even closely resemble the letters they are replacing. For example, an asterisk might be used in the place of the letter X or the percentage symbol in place of the letter Z. When these odd symbols are used in leetspeak, it helps if both parties communicating are familiar with the same symbols representing specific letters.
Besides being able to communicate secretly with a friend, leet can also be used to create highly unique passwords that are still easy to remember. A password that is simple to remember, such as the word ADVANCE, might be too easy for a nosy sibling to figure out. On the other hand, if the word is spelled out as 4DV4NC3D, then even if the actual word is known, the spelling isn’t common enough to figure out.
Many people have a great time using leetspeak to communicate with one another. Some individuals even take this fascination to the extreme by only using the Google search page that uses leetspeak. Games have even used leet as the language that some of their characters speak. There’s no limit to the amount of use this alternative alphabet receives. Even though leet is common knowledge to many gamers and hackers, it is slowly becoming more well-known among the general public. A variety of dialects has been noticed on different forums and even leet translators are available.
Speaking leet seems to be something that people want to experience, at least once. Learning leet and using it on a full-time basis might be enjoyable for people who are interacting with other leetspeaking individuals, but not when dealing with the majority of the general public. More and more people are learning about leetspeak and trying their hand at writing it out. However, this doesn’t mean that it is suddenly going to be the language used by everyone who owns a computer.
Google 133t will probably be around as long as people are interested in leetspeak. It is an exciting search engine page to use for a change in the daily grind. It never hurts to expand one’s vocabulary a bit, even if it is only with a written language that very few people can understand.