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Some helpful tips

 The pronunciation of uk.culture.language.english
Abbreviated as “ucle”, it is pronounced as one would say “ukulele” (the small, four-stringed guitar). Regional variations and diversities are encouraged!


 Lindsay Endell’s Guide to uk.culture.language.english Posting Etiquette

Usenet and newsgroups have been around for quite a while and so conventions have developed about how to post. These are generally regarded as guidelines and good manners.

a) Usenet developed as a plain text medium.

HTML is great on web pages. Unfortunately, it isn't great on newsgroups. If you want to check how your posts look, post to uk.test. Find out how to post in plain text rather than HTML. And set your line length for about 68 characters. This stops your posts having lines longer than some newsreaders can read, or having a long line, a line with one word, a long line etc. It also allows for other people quoting you.

b) Don't shout.

Writing in all capitals is regarded as shouting, and seen as fairly rude (well, it's hard to hold a decent conversation that way). On top of which, it is actually harder to read text that is all upper case.

c) Trim your posts.

It is perfectly acceptable, indeed desirable, to trim the post to which you are responding, leaving just the parts to which you wish to respond. It is equally acceptable to summarise the post in a few lines, rather than quoting it. Inserting a clear line between the end of the quote and your response so they don't appear to run together as one is also useful.

It is a good idea to quote at least part of the previous post, or summarise it, because of the way news is propagated. Just because a message has arrived on your server, doesn't mean it's arrived on everyone else's. It is quite normal to find that responses to a post arrive on your server long before you see the original post that the responses refer to.

Also, not all software threads messages the same way. Some thread by time, some alphabetically, some in ways mysterious to man (and woman). Without giving some context, other readers can get lost.

Trimming can be awkward. Leave in the attributions - the bits at the beginning of the post that state who you are following up. But do remember to trim the sig of the person whose post you are quoting. That person's name should already be at the top. While their sig may be very witty, it isn't necessary in a follow-up.

Also, many of us are paying to download newsgroups, and so it becomes a little expensive to download messages which consist of 200+ lines of quoted text, with one line added by the quoting poster. Some software won't let you post unless the new text is greater than the quoted text. This is one reason why.

d) Post at the bottom, not the top of the message.

It has become standard over the years to interleave one's responses to part of a post with the parts one is responding to. This is how most of us read news, and it helps refresh the memory and understand the response (remember, we don't see posts at the same time), and also helps the conversation to hang together. When you decide to respond to a post your software probably puts the cursor right at the top of the message. This doesn't mean you have to type your text there. You are allowed to move the cursor to wherever is more appropriate. This will also act as an aid to trimming.

e) Sigs.

Sigs can be used to give a witty quote, your real email address, your web-site. A sig should commence with a sig separator. A sig separator is two dashes followed by a space: -- .

Some newsreading software can automatically strip sigs from posts when following up so trying to set up your sig correctly can be a big help. Sigs should be no longer than 4 lines (the separator does not count) and may contain just about anything you want to put in.

f) And finally...

Remember that newsgroups are both international and local. Don't assume that everyone reading your post is from the same cultural background as you; and don't assume that no-one knows who you are.

Only say things about yourself (or people you know) that you don't mind the whole world knowing and that won't embarrass you if they turn up in an unexpected context. Posts are archived on the Web and anyone can read them, including your parents, your children, your partner and your employer.

If you want to know more about newsgroup posting etiquette here are some other places to try: news.announce.newusers is a newsgroup purely for people new to Usenet and newsgroups, and FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and helpful hints are posted there regularly.


Gives some more hints and reasons for why we should post the way we do.


 Judith Corin-Slocombe's Guide to dealing with trolls in uk.culture.language.english

Trolls come in all various guises, but can usually be recognised by their inflammatory, childish, or vulgar messages. Some are more artful, and it is not obvious at first that their intrusion is designed to give offence.

What motivates a troll? They post to have a giggle and satisfaction at your expense. They may be attention-seeking adolescents who lack social and communication skills or older, possibly lonely, people with a warped or prejudiced perspective on certain subjects.

Please ignore them at all costs. Never give satisfaction, this will only make them linger in our news group. Replying to them with the URL of this article may help. Our best defence is to make them bored so that they will go away. Attacking them directly may subject you to e-mail abuse.

Web Master's note: has additional information about trolls and what to do about them.


 Lengthy disputes
"A long dispute means both parties are wrong." (Voltaire)


 A uk.culture.language.english logo



These logos may be used freely on any "on-topic" page or article authored or mounted by a ucle contributor, and the right to use these logos in this way is irrevocably transferred to ucle contributors.

They may also be used freely by web masters on any "on-topic" page that links to a page maintained by a ucle contributor. We encourage such use because it promotes "recognizability".

Use of these logos for profit or personal gain is prohibited. Use of these logos in an "off topic" context, or in a way that embarrasses ucle is also prohibited. 

NOTE: This is a logo, not the logo. If you want to design a different logo, please do so!


 Tee Shirts

uk.culture.language.english tee shirts pressed with the production quality 800 x 800 master image can be purchased over the counter at the Kodak Fotomagic shop at the corner of Marylebone Road and Baker Street.

Readers from the U. S. can order our tee shirts (mugs, and mouse mats) directly from





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