1337 5p34k

C5664DEF-6BE3-48C6-BE1C-4C38CCB88054Yesterday I received this strange notification from WordPress congratulating me on having received 1,337 followers on my blog.

That seemed to me to be a rather random number to have generated a special WordPress notification. I got one at 1,000 followers and I figured my next one might be when I reached 1,500 or 2,000. But 1,337? Huh?

So I typed “1337” into Google and learned that 1337 means “elite.” Apparently, “1337” is a sort of webspeak kind of symbol for elite. And “1337” is also referred to as “Leet.”

Curiosity piqued, I did a Google search on “Leet.”

LEET (1337) is a written language or cipher used in online gaming, emails, text messaging, tweeting, and other electronic communication. The root of the term “leet” is the word “elite” — translated as 31337 — and 1337 was initially developed as an exclusionary language: a way to encode text so that messages could only be read by the initiated. The defining characteristic of 1337 is substitution of symbols and numbers for letters (for example, in the term “1337,” 1=L, 3=E and 7=T).

Apparently there is this whole language called “leet speak,” and its alphabet is a specialized form of symbolic writing. According to Wikipedia, leet originated on bulletin board systems (BBS) in the 80s. Back then, having “elite” status on a BBS allowed a user special access and privileges.

Leet symbols, especially the number 1337, have become internet memes that have spilled over into popular culture. I guess I’m not so in touch with pop culture because I’d never heard of leet speak or was aware of any special significance to the number 1337.

And while doing my Google research, I also came across “1337 5p34k,” which translates to “leet speak” in, well, leet speak.

So essentially, “leet” is shorthand for the word “elite,” which, in leet speak, means “better than everyone else.” And apparently, the 1337 badge from WordPress is WordPress’ way of telling you that your blog has somehow achieved elite status for having reached 1,337 followers. Woo hoo!

I suppose this is a good, albeit weird, kind of recognition. But I came across another definition of leet speak that defined it as “the language used by geeks to help them identify one another.”

Now I’m not so pleased anymore. I’ve been called many unflattering things in my life, but “geek”? Seriously?

31 thoughts on “1337 5p34k

  1. stoner on a rollercoaster October 20, 2018 / 7:14 am

    thanks for doing research on it I had no idea about its purpose or origin. still don’t know why wordpress notify us ..hope its not for the geek part.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rugby843 October 20, 2018 / 7:44 am

    Well, happy day anyway, I guess or should I say happy leet day?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Haunted Wordsmith October 20, 2018 / 8:59 am

    And look at you now…1341! Great job.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadje October 20, 2018 / 10:26 am

    Congrats! Well if you have become an elite then I suppose you can put up with the geek speak too. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. cagedunn October 20, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    How about a ga-leet? I’d be a gal-oot!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Viola Bleu October 20, 2018 / 9:37 pm

    Reblogged this on IdeasBecomeWords and commented:
    You learn something
    new everyday 👏🏼
    on your ‘eliteness’ 🥂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 20, 2018 / 10:53 pm

      Hmm. When I tried to link to your reblog, I got “page not found.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Viola Bleu October 20, 2018 / 10:56 pm

        Thank you lovely but I deleted it after I panicked the original material may have been fraudulent… not the guy I reblogged from but before him …
        I’ve restored it while I give it some more thought 👌🏼

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango October 20, 2018 / 10:58 pm

          Not sure what you mean by the original material may have been fraudulent? You mean my post?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Viola Bleu October 20, 2018 / 11:13 pm

            Forgive me .. no 😂 not your original words.
            I meant the links to the number 1337… might they be links to something deeper within social media system that allows fraudsters to locate us?
            I’m not explaining myself well but having been the victim of fraud a few times, I often become paranoid!!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango October 20, 2018 / 11:31 pm

              Yeah, I’ve had my identity stolen once and so I get your paranoia.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Viola Bleu October 20, 2018 / 11:48 pm

              Your post .. and the research you did on google was fascinating… like some underworld exists!

              Liked by 1 person

  7. mkra October 21, 2018 / 2:59 am

    Geek is great 👍🏻 😂 congratulations xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. leigha66 October 27, 2018 / 1:55 pm

    Very informative… i don’t think geek carries as much of a negative stigma as it used to. Let your inner Geek out! And congrats on you elite status!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Paula Light January 5, 2019 / 8:09 pm

    Oh good. I already read this, liked it, and forgot. Now I won’t have to google. I will forget again shortly. Thx!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango January 5, 2019 / 9:34 pm

      I forget what I’ve posted a few days after I post it!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The Diary of a Country Bumpkin January 20, 2019 / 8:22 am

    It seems to me from what I’m reading that the promotion of the blog is more important than the content. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks, let’s hope so!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. - January 16, 2020 / 11:50 pm

    ‘Now I’m not so pleased anymore. I’ve been called many unflattering things in my life, but “geek”? Seriously?’

    friend, it’s the “geeky” wp programmers who’ve attributed some inflated significance to the number. it’s a reflection on them, not you; you’ve misunderstood

    i got here after seeing leetspeak used in the tv show New Tricks and wondering if anyone was discussing it

    Liked by 1 person

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