= H =
hakspek /hak'speek/ n.
A shorthand method of spelling
found on many British academic bulletin boards and talker systems. Syllables and whole words in a sentence are replaced by
single ASCII characters the names of which are phonetically similar
or equivalent, while multiple letters are usually dropped. Hence,
`for' becomes `4'; `two', `too', and `to' become `2';
`ck' becomes `k'. "Before I see you tomorrow" becomes "b4 i
c u 2moro". First appeared in London about 1986, and was probably
caused by the slowness of available talker systems, which operated
on archaic machines with outdated operating systems and no standard
methods of communication.
Hakspek almost diappeared after the great bandwidth explosion of
the early 1990s, as fast Internet links wiped out the old-style
talker systems. However, it has enjoyed a revival in another
medium - the Short Message Service (SMS) associated with GSM
cellphones. SMS sends are limited to a maximum of 160 characters,
and typing on a cellphone keypad is difficult and slow anyway.
There are now even published paper dictionaries for SMS users
to help them do hakspek-to-English and vice-versa.
See also talk mode.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.