Hacker Language

Language helps re-enforce the barrier between computer hackers and non-hackers, as well as that between hackers and crackers. Computer hackers have developed their own language. Firstly there is vocabulary that non-hackers will not know (TCP, IP, winsock, Linux, root access, vi, etc) due to a lack of computer-related knowledge. Secondly, some computer hackers have modified English with a set of conventions. Hackers replace ‘f’ with ‘ph’ (likely coming from phreaks who were interested in ‘ph’ones), and ‘s’ with ‘z’. Also hackers use numbers in place of letters such as ‘1’ for ‘i’ or ‘l’ (though replacing ‘i’ is not the proper usage), ‘3’ for ‘E,’ ‘4’ for ‘a’, and ‘7’ for ‘t.’ Also it is important to use random caPitAlizaTioN, abbreviation, slang, emphasize words by putting ‘k-‘ before them ("k-rad"), and finish a statement with a series of characters for emphasis.

Take this example from an Internet Relay Chat message in a hacking group (#hack):

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c4n sUm1 h31p m3 w1tH h4x0RiNg mY sk00lz c0mPz?!?!?!!?!?

Which translates to: " can someone help me with hacking my school’s computers?"