Back when I worked as online tech support, we were not allowed to use abbreviations or shorthand. As a result, I got quite proficient in using substitutions for all the various emoticons and 'chat talk'. (By the way, Trieste, the bit with the numbers and making letters with typographic symbols is more commonly called 'leet', or '1337', and started out being used by hackers before being adopted by script-kiddies who want to look like they're bad-ass.) Yes, I recognize and translate seamlessly, but I'm far more likely to use *laughs*, *smiles*, *snickers*, *frowns* etc. for expressing an emotion. Just me.
And really, is it that much harder to type 'Wow' than 'OMG'?
Hello, I only read these posts because of my own love of all languages. Leet was at one point coders language- Used by hackers and freedom developers abroad. Though now, just as you said oniya, It has been stolen from
them by simple script kids or just chat yackers that want cool points. Now we speak in .nfo to keep things secret. Which I have yet to learn. Such a shame English, I'm going to miss you in 10 years, Maybe less.
DISCLAIMER : I'm not perfect, I never claim to be, But when someone comes to me with how I am doing it wrong, I strive to fix it. In any language.