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It seems to me that leetspeak is inappropriate on Stack Exchange for the following reasons:

  • it's not English
  • it can be confusing, especially to non-native English speakers
  • it usually doesn't add much to the post

So am I justified in editing posts which contain this sort of slang?

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8  
Yes! Plz do that ;) See my post here, discussing the issue of proper English across the SE network. –  Lix Apr 19 '12 at 8:23
3  
Yes, definitely, you'll be doing us all a favour! –  vascowhite Apr 19 '12 at 8:51
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"tl;dr" deserves a mention on its own –  TacticalCoder Apr 19 '12 at 12:31
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3D17 17 0U7, Ph0R 5UR3 –  Ben Lee Apr 19 '12 at 18:06
    
I wonder what percentage of the posts using leetspeak (what's the correct spelling for that, anyway?) or SMS-ese should actually be closed as of insufficient quality instead of being edited. –  Jonathan Leffler Oct 17 '12 at 5:38
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2 Answers

For all the reasons you have noted, yes, such posts should edit leetspeak (and slang in general) into proper English.

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12  
If you can beat the offenders about the head and shoulders with a halibut, so much the better. –  Al E. Apr 19 '12 at 16:16
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Once you have been bestowed with the coveted "Editing privilege", the community has said to you -

Go for it! You seem to know what you're doing... Edit away!

Before you have that privilege however, your edits will need to be peer reviewed. Don't hesitate to make edits that you feel will be improving the post. Even if you make a "bad" call be sure that some one else will come and correct it.


To quote the Edit privilege page - http://meta.stackoverflow.com/privileges/edit Emphasis added

Any time you feel you can make the post better, and are inclined to do so. Editing is encouraged!

Some common reasons to edit are:

  • to fix grammatical or spelling mistakes
  • to clarify the meaning of a post without changing it
  • to correct minor mistakes or add addendums / updates as the post ages
  • to add related resources or hyperlinks

IMO one could see slang/abbreviations/lolspeech/leetspeak as an intentional grammatical and/or spelling "mistake".


In the case of "l33t spk" - its a no-brainer. Edit it out and possibly leave a comment to the OP mentioning the "professional" nature of the site and how such language is inappropriate. Just be polite as the OP possibly was just trying to

Speak to them in their own language (those nerds ;).

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