Online gamers use "pwn" to describe annihilating an opponent, or owning them. The word came from misspelling "own" by gamers typing quickly and striking the letter P instead of the neighboring letter O. Other words substitute symbols or numbers for similar-looking letters, such as the number 3 for the letter E. The language is sometimes called elite speak, or leetspeak, written as l33t 5p34k.

There is no standardized code. The letter A, for example, can have several replacements, including 4, /\, @ , /-\, ^, and aye.

As the Internet becomes more prevalent, leetspeak, including acronyms that used to appear only in text messages like "LOL" for laughing out loud, is finding a voice.

Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal