Mar 23, 2005 at 12:00 am

The rise of instant messaging has ushered in a new era of slang, with such acronyms as LOL, BTW, AFAIK, WTF, and so forth. If “weblish” has you tied up in knots, pay a visit to It’s an online dictionary comprised entirely of slang; but has a special emphasis on web-speak, a new branch of slang.

A few samples:

cyberchondriac: The constant belief or suspicion that your PC is infected with a computer virus.

Example: Leslie is a cyberchondriac; she thinks her PC has a virus.

e-tard: Someone with no knowlege of computers or the Internet.

Example: Don’t be an e-tard, just click on the file menu.

webolepsy: Falling asleep while chatting online.

Example: You woke up to the bouncing Webtv logo, because of your webolepsy.

Or, if you’re truly socially incapacitated — er, Web savvy, you can communicate only in 1337 sp34k (translation: ’leet — short for “elite”— speak), a Web language in which most letters are represented by numbers or symbols. It occasionally resembles English, but often looks completely indecipherable to the ungeeky, untrained eye. Allegedly it was originally invented by hackers to disguise their work from the government, which may or may not be just another urban legend. It’s now mostly favored by gamers and programmers. Brush up on your $k1llz at — like a Babel Fish for h4x0r$, the site will convert your humdrum English phrase into 1337.

And the folks at Google once again demonstrate their great sense of humor with — it’s a Google search engine that functions in ’leet speak.

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