To me, 'var' and 'val' look (optically) almost the same. Theay are both 3 chars wide and start with 'va'. I can image that occasionally they can be confused. What about 'final' or 'const'? Of course, there reasons to have it that way - it's fast to type, but 5 chars instead of 3 will do as well. And, 'val' doesn't sound as opposite of 'var': var stands for 'variable', so something that can not be changed.. is not value but is a 'constant'. 'val' could also imply that something is passed by value..
Could we organise a vote for the best keywords?