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One theory is that it was developed to defeat text filters created by BBS or Internet Relay Chat system operators for message boards to discourage the discussion of forbidden topics, like cracking and hacking.
Creative misspellings and ASCII-art-derived words were also a way to attempt to indicate one was knowledgeable about the culture of computer users.
Some examples of leet include B1ff and n00b, a term for the stereotypical newbie; the l33t programming language; and the web-comic Megatokyo, which contains characters who speak leet.
Text rendered in leet is often characterized by distinctive, recurring forms.
Leet symbols, especially the number 1337, are Internet memes that have spilled over into popular culture.
Nouns such as lulzness and leetness are derivations using this suffix. "This is the s&box," "I'm sorry, you've been b&", "&hill/&farm"). An alternate form of "B&" is "B7", as the ampersand is typed with the "7" key in the standard US keyboard layout.
Another use for Leet orthographic substitutions is the creation of paraphrased passwords.
require less extensive forms of Leet when used in this application.
Once the reserve of hackers, crackers, and script kiddies, leet has since entered the mainstream.
Some consider emoticons and ASCII art, like smiley faces, to be leet, while others maintain that leet consists of only symbolic word encryption.