Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's seriously 4real

It's finally happened. "Leet speek" has infiltrated even deeper than we'd originally feared. For those unfamiliar, leet is the "language" (and we use that term loosely) used by millions of teenagers and young adults to communicate with each other over the interwebs, though online games, and in text messages. Ostensibly, leet makes it easier and quicker for people to type things, by substituting numbers in place of letters, and/or simply requiring fewer keystrokes to enter a word. In truth, what leet has done is created a new way to annoy other game players, and led to the formation of the LOLCats (and their ilk).

And now, leet speek has led to a New Zealand couple possibly not being able to name their child according to their wishes. The couple, shortly after an ultrasound that confirmed for them that they were actually about to become parents, decided that they wanted to name the child "4real". The problem? New Zealand law currently does not allow for numbers to be part of a registered name, and, at the very least, any "unique" name has to be examined on a case-by-case basis. The real kicker? If a compromise can't be reached by July 9, the baby will be given the name "real". And no, we're not kidding.

So it's come down to this. It was one thing when alphanumeric words were simply the domain of computer passwords. It's an entirely different thing when people start trying to use it to name a child. A child, it should be noted, that would undoubtedly suffer years of torment from fellow classmates (although, with parents ready to name them "4real", maybe the classmates aren't the ones we should worry about).

Of course, it could be worse. At least, we hope it could be worse. Quite honestly, we can't think of many things that would fulfill that requirement, but we do continue to live in hope that, where there is an opportunity, someone on this planet will find a way to do something far dumber than what has been done before.

After all, someone has to keep providing FOXNews with headlines.

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