Chatspeak, also commonly referred to as txtspeak since the advent of cell-phone texting, is a severe problem facing the English language. Chatspeak, essentially, dissolves the normal English language into a much-simplified form, using phonetics, numeric sounds, and 'unnecessary' vowels and punctuation as a basis for its development. As such, 'love' becomes 'luv', people becomes 'ppl', 'great' becomes 'gr8', 'like' becomes 'liek', 'it's' becomes 'itz', 'is' becomes 'iz' and 'adjudicate' becomes 'adjdic8'.
Chatspeak should not be confused with l337speak, leetspeak, 13375|>34|<, or any other renderings thereof. 1337 actually takes the normal alphabet and renders as many letters as possible as a number, symbol, or combination of symbols meant to resemble the original letter, actually making the language more complex to render (and read) rather than simpler. Advanced speakers of 1337 don't use any alphabetical characters at all (see third rendering above). The term "1337" is a short form of "elite," and the speakers of it like to think they are more intelligent than other people due to their ability to use it.
Of course, it's still a bad idea to use 1337 in a fanfic.
1337speak, incidentally, is where the expression "woot!" (or \/\/007!), meaning "yay!", originated. We're not sure how or why.