|The World of The Gunny
|Amusing Guides for New Members
|Page 1 of 1|
|Author:||Þórgrímr [ 20 Mar 2007 11:07 ]|
|Post subject:||Amusing Guides for New Members|
Victor Hadin’s Foreworde on Phantastickal Forume Frippery
If you are reading this, as I shall assume you are, it may be gathered that you are currently navigating -‘surfing’ if you will- the worldwide interweb and are viewing this on some form of discussion forum. This is just dandy, and reflects both the tremendous variety and heightened productivity of modern technological life and the callous lengths office workers will go to in order to avoid doing any actual work during the day. It is only to be assumed, therefore, that said productivity increases are all down to trained animals of some sort.
Nonetheless you find yourself here, on a forum, possibly engaged in debate or intellectual revelry of a high-brow digital nature. Good for you. While you may not be doing any actual work by reading this, you’re also not looking at porn or using the company Email utility to send amusing message attachments involving dancing rodents, which I regard as a sort of no-score win for all concerned.
Or you might be looking at this from home, in which case you should probably be getting some fresh air or reading a book… but perhaps it’s raining and perhaps you have tired of Dan Brown. These things happen. What will follow, therefore, is a loose guide to the etiquette of internet forums: What to do and what not to do, particularly if you are involved in a debate with someone.
And so here we go…
1)Unless the thread in question is entitled “name your favourite breed of dog” (and sometimes even then) there is a good chance that at a given point you will be engaged in debate on an internet forum. It may be a good idea at this stage to define that word: ‘Debate’ is variously given as “to hold or take part in a formal discussion” and “to consider the arguments for and against something”. By now the more astute of you will have noticed that these definitions do not include “calling your opponent a sexually-challenged moron”, “shouting at your computer monitor while foaming at the mouth” or “accusing your opponent of having a whore as a mother”. What these examples are of is, in fact, a flaming row and not debate at all. The difference between the two are best summarised by example:
a)“I will agree with you that the freedoms of men are inalienable rights that should not be infringed, but I think I disagree on the particulars, one example of which would be…”
b)“Yeah whatever, Gaylord.”
Did you notice the distinction?
2)Nobody is all that interested in your religious affiliation, and you should not expect them to be. –Think of this as a conversation over dinner with friends and relatives at Christmas; religion is a banned topic, as are the dubious quality of the host’s pork chops and the smell of elderly relatives. The reason for excluding religion and pork chops is so as not to offend any Jews or Arabs you may have invited over, which as history has shown is a really silly idea. The reason you do not mention your uncle’s odour is simple embarrassment. Apply the same principle to religion on forums, and be sheepish.
3)Internet forums are also occupied by teenagers, as well as bored office-workers. Give the former group the same respect you would give any collection of spotty delinquents: Ignore them, don’t openly offend them and if they’re hanging around your doorstep or your threads, keep a close eye on the buggers. Getting your thread closed isn’t quite as annoying as having your car vandalised, but it’s still bloody frustrating.
4)Unless it is generally accepted to be thoroughly hilarious, try never to argue on a topic you know little about; accept your own humility and move on. Nothing is more tiresome than some up-his-own-arse oik entering a five page thread and rehashing arguments that were dealt with yonks ago because of what he heard from some guy he knows… no, I admit there is one thing more tiresome than that, which is if said oik hangs around repeating himself to the tune of “Why is nobody listening to me!?” until somebody snaps and calls his mother a whore, and that never works out for the best…
5)Try your hardest never, ever to use the statement “Everybody knows that” in your debating …Common Knowledge is usually neither common nor particularly knowledgeable. Be wary.
6)If you are a teenager, please accept that you know absolutely nothing about anything. I’m terribly sorry.
7)If you are a skilled professional, a learned academic or otherwise a specialist in your field, please be aware that you will still make errors of judgement, even in the field you are an expert in. This is only human and doesn’t make you any less of a person, so correct your mistake before somebody else does: The internet is a big place and there’s always somebody who knows more useless shit than you do.
8)THE CAPSLOCK IS NOT A GENERAL PURPOSE CONVENIENCE.
9)The most dangerous individual on an internet forum is a satirist. As such, be extremely wary of taking everything at face value, or you might find yourself unexpectedly being sniggered at, and nobody likes that. If a particular statement seems too stupid to have come from the mouth or keyboard of a thinking human being, consider that it might well be a joke and let someone else take the bait. –It is worth pointing out at this stage that a satirist is not the same thing as a troll: A troll is an individual who provokes reactions by stupid comments that could conceivably be… well, conceived by a suitably stupid or vitriolic person. You can identify a troll, as such, by the fact that he lacks any sense of humour. A satirist, by contrast, is a much rarer personage, and will provoke a reaction from you but nobody else, and you will only realise this when you find everyone sniggering at you mid-debate. As such, don’t take everything on the internet seriously: There is no easier target for a good satirist than a guy with a rod rammed up his arse.
10)Satire is also a double-edged blade. Be damned sure you know what you’re doing if you choose to exercise it yourself.
11)Having extremist ideologies is a good way to get attention on internet forums, but it is a very good way of swiftly getting disregarded as an idiot with nothing worthwhile to say.
12)Patriotism is a fine thing, but going on and on about it makes you a boring person.
13)Strangely, attention-seeking often makes people less noticeable than they were beforehand. If you wish to blend invisibly into the background, a good strategy is to post as many outrageous details about your personal life as you can.
14) Being a newbie is not simply a chronological thing: Some people have never been newbies while others will be n00bs forevermore.
15)Correcting somebody else’s typos, except in extreme circumstances, is almost as distasteful as mocking someone for a speech impediment and the analogy holds fairly well: If you mock people with speech impediments in polite society, you risk becoming shunned and disregarded, and the same is true for typo-spotters. The only difference is that while there are a great many amusing jokes and anecdotes about people with lisps, there is nothing fun at all about anal retentive people who like to correct spelling. For such people, I recommend manufacturing as many made-up compound words as possible, such as ‘multi-surrogacy’, just to wind them up. Try to introduce them into sentences where they’re not needed.
16)Not everybody likes the things you do, so please be willing to accommodate their tastes: Avoid saying things like “People who listen to rap are retards, hur, hur” because this gives the impression that you are a narrow-minded oik with the lateral thinking capacities of an oyster. I may not like rap, but I also disapprove of cats and very thin women: This does not mean that I support making puppies and pork pies mandatory consumer items.
17)Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, and the use of expletives is not witty at all, so avoid them wherever possible. The one and only exception to this is for the person who has already gone demonstrably so far beyond them that any use of sarcasm is instantly transformed into irony, which is acceptable.
18)All the above arguments are null and void in the event of football, which is the one globally-accepted exception to being polite to other people.
Thank you all for your patience in reading through this now 18-strong list of handy hints! If you feel you need to make any revisions, well do so, and if you think you can make the list shorter and more concise, that is good too.
-And in the event that you like this list enough to want to copy and paste it to other forums… well go do it! There’s nothing a guy likes more than having his ego stroked by duplication, and if enough people read this during work hours then I might actually get billed for the cumulative man-hours I’ve wasted in writing this. So hurrah for apathy!... And be polite to the next person you feel like flaming.
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