|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.
|Author:||Þórgrímr [ 20 Mar 2007 11:16 ]|
|Post subject:||Username Guide|
Every so often, The World of the Gunny gets a new member or two. More often than not, this new member has chosen a username that is, to be quite honest, very common and dull. Personality issues, or lack thereof, aside, most new members complain that they're overlooked; it's difficult to gain credibility.
The reason for this is that most usernames tend to blend in with each other. Cosmetically, what's the difference between Ryukin and Hyoken? Very little, despite their having no relation.
How many times have you seen several people in the same thread with an identical word in their respective names, such as Dark or Neo? It happens frequently enough to be noticeable.
I grow weary of seeing the same hackneyed username themes day in, day out, ad infinitum.
I know some people don't mind being known as SolidSnakeX37, but such names are apt to be forgotten as soon as the viewer is through glancing over the owner's post.
So here's a simple guide to the biggest Do's and Don'ts in creating an enjoyable username for yourself. Some of you down in front may wish to open a notebook and begin recording.
Rule 1: Avoid Numbers If Possible - This is a big one. The difference between BigJohnny and BigJohnny349 is that obviously the name without the numbers came first, as he didn't require a sequential ID to avoid confusion.
Having numbers at the end of your name demonstrates a lack of originality. There are millions of people online. Having numbers makes you a number, a meaningless drone in a crowd of many.
It is somewhat acceptable to use numbers if they have a strong significance, such as a number that has brought you great luck or your hockey jersey's number the year you won the title. Nobody will mind that, but don't expect to be instantly gratified for existing either.
Numbers to avoid at all costs: 666, 69, 1337, "#1".
Rule 2: 13375P34|< = BAD - This is a no-brainer to most, really, yet it must be stated so that nobody could say it was ignored.
Leetspeak was devised by a group of lonely, college geeks who had no life outside their pizza-box infested dormitory. Even if you too are a lonely college geek whittling the time away on EverQuest, by virtue of not being a co-inventor of 13375P34|<, you are cooler than that. Do not sink to this level! It is considered the lowest method of communication upon the internet, lower, even, than singles chatrooms on AOL.
Rule 3: You are NOT Vegita, Spike Spiegel or Cloud Strife! - There is something instantaneously phony about someone who arrives at a message board and calls himself Squall Lionheart. You want credibility? Don't rip off a popular series or video game. It reeks of fanboy-ism, which indicates an immature obsession or an inability to seperate reality from fiction. Imagination is priceless, but we left behind this level of pretend way back in the second grade.
Everybody knows that Trunks, Dante, Lara Croft and the rest are fictional. You're fooling only yourself.
By all means, it is absolutely retarded to attempt to create a persona by combining several unrelated characters into one uber-fusion of ungodly might and breathtaking awe, such as Serious Link Highwind . PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!
And for God's sake, don't name yourself after an entire anime or video game series!! I cringe each time an inanimate concept such as Resident Evil, Macross or Twisted Metal Black somehow manifests itself into a real, moving, functioning being, then, invariably, heads straight to these forums to post inane opinions on unreleased software.
If you feel the need to be perceived as a particular icon, please make it one that isn't already idolized by hundreds of thousands of rabid fans. A good choice would be a lesser Marvel comics villain, such as Judas Traveller or High Evolutionary, for just two examples.
Rule 4: If Everybody Else Is Doing It, Then You Don't Need To As Well! - There are a great many words which appear in usernames frequently, so much so that distinguishing between those who have varying combinations of these internet buzzwords is downright frustrating.
Take the following sample names: DarkNinjaX and XDarkness - These are obviously different when placed side by side, yet in scrolling through an assortment of posts, their unique features tend to smear together in a disgusting blur of hackneyed jargon. Toss in some more overused lingo and it may as well be the same person posting repeatedly.
The problem with most of these words is that they all reflect some sort of angst. Within each, there's an implication of impending doom, as though the user were absolutely writhing with a desire to destroy either himself or humanity-at-large.
See, we don't care about your angst. You're not the only person who has problems with which to contend, so your suffering doesn't need to be made ours by having a name that demonstrates the kind of embittered, tortured, misunderstood soul that you really are. Yeah, you, the guy wearing the Blink182 shirt and shoving Hostess cupcakes into his mouth at 135 mph. You're so full of suffering, aren't you? Get real.
Instant buzzkills: Hyper, Dark, Fallen, Neo, X, Hell, Mega, Final, King, Lord, Shadow, Eternal, Soul, Night, Grim, amongst numerous others.
If you wanna be angsty or mysterious, make it good. Gloryblaze works just fine. Empty Heart is pure cheese.
Rule 5: Excessive Punctuation Is Not a Substitute for Creativity - This is to say that your name is not rendered qualitative by bracketing it in obscure punctuation symbols. Worse yet, using nothing but hard to find accents, octothorps and foreign currency marks as your username is downright annoying, especially for those who would wish to address you by said name.
Imagine typing out the following name several times a day: xX$quelch~Xx - Your mind would go numb after locating the various shift coordinates for each mention of this cretin's name.
Should you find the desire to include punctuation, please note that it rarely ever makes your name appear more attractive. Perhaps "~~@" symbolizes a rose in IRC, but it doesn't do much for your actual name except overcomplicate it with needless ideography.
Rule 6: There Are Thousands of Asian Names and They All Tend to Look the Same, Especially to Non-Asians - As pointed out earlier in this tutorial, the frequency of names inspired by the Asian culture is ever-growing. Granted, many of us think the various cultures of Japan, Indonesia and China are fascinating, yet when filtering through hundreds of people in one Forum, it is increasingly complex to tell the Asian names apart.
This is not meant as a slander to those of authentic Asian descent; you are quite justified in your wishes to use an Asian name, for you hail from the land of Overpriced Big Macs. This is your native tongue.
For everyone else, give it a rest. Back in 1996, when the internet was still primarily used by fat, pimply, engineering majors who had good reason to disguise their true natures, acting as though you were of another culture was permissable, albeit dishonest.
Now, the internet is used by geeks, soccer moms, inner-city folk, jet-setters, the elderly, etc. There's no real reason to hide yourself, because nobody truly cares anymore. Nearly everyone uses the net, therefore there's no reason to not be true to yourself. If you're still the kind of person who consistently asks "a/s/l?", then these forums is not for you in the first place.
This having been said, the glut of names based upon Asian culture simply because it's the cool culture to be, at the moment, is ridiculous. There are so many names in this style that very few can honestly keep them organized in their minds.
In other words, A Hikari is a Shoujin is an Umezawa is a Yi Xing.
If you use this kind of username, don't become offended whenever someone innocently confuses you with another member whose Asian name contains similar letters. He's out there somewhere.
Rule 7: Be Kind to Our Eyes - This is a short one, but this rule is nonetheless broken periodically by insensitive, possibly mentally deficient, people who think the "Caps Lock" key is there to keep their hat firmly on their head while they play their Megadeth albums at 170 decibels, as they type.
Simply put, using names in all capital letters is very harsh when the name is displayed in bright, white lettering in your userbox.
Here, let's see how this looks: PARTY ANIMAL - Pretty bold, huh?
Aesthetics aside, captial letters is the internet way of raising your voice. Anything written in consistent capitalizations is the writer's way of screaming at you. HE WANTS TO BE NOTICED!
To waltz into a new message board and register a name in capitalized entirity is rather grandiose and quite presumptuous. You're effectively shouting your presence at everyone, which looks poor upon you. Most people, by now, have established a knee-jerk reaction to completely ignore people who do this, as a way of compensating for the raucous noise they constantly make whenever they enter a thread.
Wanna make matters worse? Then bewilder us with alternating capital and lowercase letters. It'S a PaIn In ThE bUtToCkS tO dEcIpHeR, i AsSuRe YoU. It's even more vexing to type out. 99% of all users will completely diregard your flair for the shift key by typing your name as it would have been chosen by a more sane, less ego-driven person. Hence, SeAtTlEsLeW would be made into SeattleSlew and the only person wasting their time will be you each time you log in.
One other note, don't purposely misspell words to the point of mangling them completely. RaccoonLover is a fine name, but when given the idiot treatment, it becomes RakoonLuvvr. That looks amazingly...dense. It's as though you're telling us that you either cannot spell basic words or that you're too lazy to bother with acceptable communication skills. Either way, you'll be hated, shunned and driven from the boards.
Those are basically the big rules of ettiquette. Obey them and, although your name may not be overly creative, you will be accepted just fine.
"So, how do I go about creating a better username while avoiding the most common mistakes presented above?"
I'm glad you mentally asked that as you read this, just now, exactly when I prompted you. Have a cookie.
There's no one, true method of obtaining a name that is seen as creative, unique or interesting. It's a process of trial and error. Possessing a strong imagination helps, as does a solid grasp of the English language. (I say English because this is the tongue most commonly used here on these Forums. For other boards, German may be the status quo. I don't visit everywhere.)
Some tricks to creating a good name are as follows.
Examine Yourself - No odd lumps? Good. Now search your personality and think about what makes you tick. Do you enjoy sports or are you a good chess player? Do you tend to be a worker, a doer or are you shiftless and apathetic? Are you peaceful or violent? Knowing yourself can help create a good username, based upon your personality. Choose a feature that is a reasonable representation of yourself and work with it.
Remember! Avoid angsty names! They make you look whiny!
Find a Nifty Word - This is how some people do it. They scour a dictionary or thesaurus and look for an odd, yet pleasing word, then make an alteration or two, or perhaps none at all. What's left is an interesting concept that catches people's attention as they read your name. The name Ziggurat is far more interesting than HockeyFan. It evokes a certain air of mystery, whereas hockey fans are as common as seagulls at a McDonalds parking lot.
Demonstrate Some Wit - This is something of an accelerated skill, not to be attempted by the depressed or the weak of conviction. But if you can pull it off, then more power to you!
If you can create a play on words, something that flows or makes a small joke, then you're well on your way to a good username. Words (or phrases) that end and seamlessly flow into another word by way of identical spelling are excellent as usernames. Consider something as follows: Utopium, Alphanumerican, Retrogradio and Precious Gemini are all quite viably usernames of quality.
But it can work for any pun or phrase. Here's some right off the top of my head. JohnnyComeLately, Lola Palooza, OREOSpeedwagon and President Evil. They're not fantastic, but very few people would give you an iota of grief over names like this.
Go for the Bizarre - Seriously, this works. Some of the most interesting names I've ever seen were combinations of items or ideas that I would have never otherwise placed next to wach other in my mind.
The more odd the reference, the better. One of my favorites from the past was PsychicSandwich. That had class, albeit a very warped sense of class.
If you cannot identify one representative trait or cannot find a phrase that flows, make something strange up. The more random, the more likely it is to work! It shows that you're zany, which is a quirk people seem to flock to, for some reason.
You can do this with a dictionary and a blindfold, by searching through your garage for odd baubles or simply by brainstorming about things that make you laugh, such as tube socks or weevils.
Many times, an adjective followed by a noun heightens the hilarity. Things are always funnier when juxtaposed with unrelated, typically inapplicable traits.
Bonus points for rhymes and alliteration!
Let's try it together! Disgruntled Chainsaw, Neon Lemonade, PorchWeasel, ZootFruit
See? Instant weird! Few people wish to risk exposure to such mental instability, so the result is that you'll usually be given a smooth ride into eventual acceptance.
Don't be scary-weird though. Something along the lines of Cornpooper is going to raise quite a few eyebrows, not necessarily in a good way.
The rest is pretty much up to you. The methods are vast, the possibilities endless. It only takes a few minutes of your time to design an acceptably good username. It doesn't have to be cybergold, but avoiding the most common and frustrating mistakes most newbies make will help your cause greatly. This guide should also help you in finding names for your stories as well, should you decide to use it.
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