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by Chris Burke
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1337 and 1338: L33t
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Mr. Michael Keegan, Math Teacher

Comment 1: 1f y0u c4n r34d 7h15, y0u n33d 4 n3w h0bby.

This is Comic #1337, which means "leet" is "leetspeak", which is short for "elite", and was an offshoot of a hacker language that was popular back in usenet in the 90s (and probably earlier, but that's when I got onto usenet). It was a cipher, a secret code, replacing letters with numbers or a combination of symbols. So A could be 4 or @, T could be 7 or +, H might be ][ or |-| or even ]-[. You get the idea, or 1|)34.

Translating wasn't a big issue; it was the typing that was the problem. Plus, different generators have different defaults, which meant that I could pick and choose between them. But I wanted to ASCII (particularly because of the paint program) so I wasn't going to use, say, the registered trademark symbol for 'R'.

I don't think I could have imagined when I did the Roman Elite Guard back in Comic #220 (2009), that I'd still be doing this a thousand comics later!

Comment 2: Condensed conversations for three panels, losing many awkward periods of silence.

If I hadn't tossed the script yesterday, it would've gone out the window today.
I toyed with Daisy only being called "Daisy" because she liked the flowers so much, but it wasn't actually her name. (Maybe that will still happen?)
But that's why this is an experiment, and I want to include these as "bonus" comics for the time being.

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