I use the word ‘kewl’ a lot, both in on-line chat and in-person conversations. In both cases I usually double it into ‘kewl kewl’. It is a response to indicate that I was actually listening to what you had to say, and a general comment of understanding and agreement.
The spelling is specific and deliberate. Something in me hates with a passion the word ‘cool’. I don’t know exactly why, something to do with it being a word of the older generation, or maybe in my messed up brain I associate ‘cool’ with Americana and all the things I dis-like about the USA. So when I first stumbled across the ‘kewl’ spelling (back in 1994, give me some street creed here), I was drawn to it, and it has since stuck. I make no excuses or apologies. While it maybe crass and seem uneducated, just maybe I’m choosing from a position of informed determination.
I’ve also noticed recently that I use the word ‘mate’ when chatting on-line, but never use it in in-person conversations. No idea what that means.
I also use ‘lol’ on-line a lot, but never in-person. Here it is obvious, in-person someone can actually see if your laughing. On-line, I think ‘lol’ is more immediate and genuine than typing back ‘i find that very funny’.