If you're just getting started on discussion boards, here are some basics:
* ALL CAPS MEANS THAT YOU'RE YELLING! (Please don't )
* Double-spacing between paragraphs will help make your posts, especially longer posts, more readable.
* Tone is often difficult to convey in writing, when the person to whom you're speaking cannot hear the inflections of your voice or see the expression on your face or in your eyes. Be careful about how you use humor: it's safer to stay away from "friendly" insults through which you mean to convey goodwill, but are interpreted as hostility or cheek.
* "Smilies" -- also called "emoticons" -- are the little pictures that are used to try to convey emotions, and they've come a long way from the static, yellow smile, to the stretching, shaking, bravo-ing, head-banging, tooting varieties supported on the board. We certainly don't mind if you use them, but be aware that you probably won't be taken as seriously if you use a lot of them in a serious post. Also, please be aware members have the option of turning off smilies when they read posts.
* Because we have foreign posters who are kind enough to post in English for us, as well as those of us old enough to remember the pre-CD, pre-iPod eras, we avoid speaking in Instant Messenger (IM) abbreviations, like "R U k?" here. But in case a few classics make their way into a post, here are the basics:
- "BTW"=By the way
"ITA"=I totally agree. (It does sound more adult as an abbreviation.)
"LOL"=Laugh out loud
"ROFL"=Rolling on the floor laughing. aka
"IMO"=In my opinion
"IMHO"=In my humble opinion
"FAQ"=Frequently asked questions.
"FWIW"=For what it's worth.
"IIRC"=If I recall correctly.