A substitution cipher is a method used in cryptography to encrypt the meaning of a text. In the most common form, a substitution cipher changes every letter in the target text with another, making it impossible to read without first decrypting it.
For example, this sentence in bold is encrypted with a substitution cipher that replaces every letter with the following on my keyboard:
gpt rcszqar, yjod drmyrmvr om npaf od rmvtuqyrf
As you can see this is not a great way to generate secret text ... nor secret languages or alternative languages, since the words generated this way are mostly impossible to pronounce in any given tongue.
Yet, some forms of substitution ciphers can be interesting. One such examples acquired internet fame - 1337, or leet. Leet utilizies a lot of numbers and special characters:
f0r 3x4mpl3, 7h15 53n73nc3 1n b0ld 15 3ncryp73d
|=0|2 3><4/\/\|D|3, 7|-|!5 53|\|73|\|(3 !|\| |30||) !5 3|\|(|2`/|D73|)
|#0|2 3%4|\/||>13, +|-|!5 53|\|+3|\|(3 !|\| 801|) !5 3|\|(|2`/|>+3|)
Now, coming to my question: would it be advisable to use such a cipher to represent old, encrypted text in a story? I'm focusing on sci-fi stories since they would be the most suited for this kind of substitution. With advisable I mean:
- an interesting idea;
- not something that would annoy the audience.
This kind of substitution would be intended as an easter egg of sorts, just for small sections of text or small words.