In a blatant example of downright-lazy journalism, the Wall Street Journal has just discovered the fact that, OH NOES, there is slang coming from the internet! And kids are using it irl (that's "in real life," for you WSJ writers).
It's the exact same story that pathetic local news stations use for scare stories between "Your New Carpet Could Give You AIDS" and "Highway Killings: More Common Than You Think." But it's even worse, as it's in a "respected" newspaper and it's a good five years beyond when this could even questionably be considered newsworthy.
It goes through the same formula that all these stories do: first, it uses an example of "l33t 5p34k" that is full of numbers, is pretty much unreadable and no one actually would ever use. This is to shock people into feeling like they're out of the loop. It then interviews a bunch of kids "in the know" about it, who then show that, well, it's really just a jokey set of misspellings that people say when around fellow dorks. Then, they interview some dude with his panties in a twist about how the English language is going down the tubes because kids are saying lawl to each other.
Let me break this down for you: Back when you were doing the Lindy Hop and wearing zoot suits, you had a set of slang too. It freaked your parents out. It was a way for you to bond with your peers and have a shared language. It did not destroy the sanctity of the English language when you said stuff like 23 Skidoo and bee's knees. This is the exact same thing, but because it comes from the internet, something else that's new and terrifying, you think it's even more disastrous. Well, guess what? It's not. You're an alarmist idiot. Now go back to complaining about how the Wendy's menu used to be a lot better before they banned trans fats and leave reporting about tech culture to people who know wtf they're talking about. [WSJ]