SammyIAm wrote:Lastly, I understand that language gets a little loose on the Internet, and people 5p33k lik3 th15 as a cultural thing, but when it starts to get in the way of actually understanding what is being said it's gone too far. I've seen status updates da luk lek dis an ti mak it 2 hurd fu mi tu reeed. Is that actually any easier to type?! Do you actually speak that way, because I don't think I would be able to understand you anyway.
This amuses me a little, because the point of l33t speak is for it to be unintelligible to most users. It's meant to get in the way of 'actual understanding'. As for txt speech, which is generally meant to be easily understood, I don't think you'll ever find a legitimate example that looks anything like your contrived one. It's a point I first heard David Crystal make, but all real-world examples of text speech are littered with the standard English spellings for words that can't be usefully abbreviated, such as like. (Indeed, in your example you gave the word a different vowel exactly because you couldn't shorten it without doing so. And you only did it because you were abbreviating words for the sake of abbreviating words, whereas txt speakers would only do so if it was convenient. Your mi, luk, mak, fu and tu are similarly boneheaded approximations at txt speech.)
Here's the most recent example of txt speak in my phone, courtesy of my father:
Hi Jus. I bought a Seagate GoFlex with 320GB storage 4 backups. B4 i use do u think this is a good way to go? I checked w guy at O/Works he said it is good for hard dve back ups.
Dad isn't as aggressive with his use of txt speech as some teenagers are, but the example is fairly typical of the style. You'll notice he dropped a few conventional spellings, and even the odd word, but nowhere does it make the message unreadable. Most often it's out of indignation that people refuse to parse txt speech, rather than any ambiguity that can be found in the actual text.
Having said that, you're more than welcome to offer a real example that contradicts my point. But I don't think you'll find one where the user hasn't deliberately engineered it to frustrate 'outsiders', which is a common trait across all slangs.