Not so Frequently Asked Questions in uk.singles
This FAQ is available on the World Wide Web at
It is also posted in ASCII form to uk.singles every two
weeks or so. The World Wide Web version is easier to read.
Last Modified: Thu 4th June 1998.
Questions marked with an asterisk [*] are loaded questions that people don't
really ask, but we want you to read the answers to.
- What is uk.singles all about?
- [*] How do I make my articles enjoyable to read?
- What kinds of things should I avoid posting?
- [*] How long should I read the group before posting?
- How do I get rid of the spam?
- WTF are all those abbreviations?
- What's a boink?
- Are there uk.singles pages on the web?
- [*] Bonus Question: What's the difference between a nerd and a geek?
- [*] All these in-jokes and flaming of
newcomers: you're just a bunch of cliquey gits.
1. What is uk.singles all about?
See the Mini-FAQ for
a good description. Basically, we're a chat group, and most of us seem to
share common interests and a similar sense of humour.
By the way, you don't have to live in the UK to post, and you don't have
to be single. I don't fit either category.
2. How do I make my articles enjoyable to read?
By making an effort and being considerate to your readers.
- Know your audience. People read uk.singles to relax,
have fun, and make friends. So be relaxing, fun and friendly. And original.
- Make sure you have something to say. If not, we suggest
misc.test as a better newsgroup. And you'll probably get more replies that
- Get to know people. We used to have a thing called
the Who's Who, which gave a bit of information about the regulars. We
don't any more, so you'll have to read the group to find out who everyone
- Be original. Bring new things into the group.
Entertain us. Make us like you. Put effort into everything you post.
- Write good English. If you make it easy for people
to read what you write, you'll come across better. If you don't, many
people will (rightly or wrongly) form a bad impression of you. If you're
dyslexic, use a spelling checker.
3. What kinds of things should I avoid posting?
Anything that annoys people. To be more precise:
- Adverts for anything (we call it "spam").
- Personal adverts. They belong in
- Spelling flames, unless they're funny. There are several people
on the group who suffer from dyslexia.
- Silly rants telling us how sad we all are. We know we're
sad. You don't need to tell us.
- Stories about children dying of cancer, warnings not to open email
with certain subject lines, cookie recipes, stories about people
killing themselves in amusing ways, and so on. They're all
urban legends, and we've
heard them before.
- Rude messages to anyone, even if they're breaking the rules. If you
really must flame someone, please do it by email. This includes
messages telling people to read the FAQ.
There are probably other rules too, but they escape me. However, if you
do something so obnoxious that it inspires me to write a new rule, you could
win a major prize. Go ahead, punk. Make my day.
4. [*] How long should I read the group before posting?
Glad you asked! The rules for Usenet used to be: Read a group for
at least two weeks before posting. Well, things have moved
on a bit since then, but you should probably have read the group for a
few days before joining in. And when you do, you'll be most
appreciated if you just join in a conversation, rather than starting a
thread of your own. Oh, and if you don't like what you see, just
ignore us and move on. Please.
5. How do I get rid of all the spam?
Use a kill file. If your news reader doesn't support kill files, then
get one that does. It's not rocket science.
If you use a package called Turnpike, David Reid has written an FAQ
on how to get rid of uk.singles spam at
A good way of getting rid of spam, is to kill anything posted to five or
more newsgroups. Many news readers allow you do it with some variant of this:
You should read the manual for your browser to check the exact syntax.
If your news reader does not allow you to kill articles like this, then
you can use some common patterns used in the subject lines:
However, some people who use this kind of idea
have later found that they have missed genuine threads.
6. WTF are all those abbreviations?
AFAIK As Far As I Know.
<AOL> Going into AOL user mode. Example: <aol>Me too!!!</aol>
BTW By The Way
C|N>K Coffee through Nose onto Keyboard.
DIMU? Did I Mess Up?
FWIW For What It's Worth
^H^H^H See below, under "Deletia"
HNG Horny Net Geek
HTH Hope This Helps. Usually follows a non-helpful comment.
LDR Long Distance Relationship
LOL Laugh(ing) Out Loud.
MOTAS Member of the appropriate (other, same) sex
ROTFL Rolling on the floor laughing.
RTFM Read The Manual.
[TM] TradeMark -- usually after a Stock Phrase Of Some Kind[TM].
UTS Unattended Terminal Syndrome.
WTF What The Fuck
YAxAICM5Fy You Are x And I Claim My 5 Free y.
YM You Mislept.
There are also a number of stock words, phrases and themes.
- A group get-together. See below.
- Used as "I mean X, but I'm saying Y". For example,
"He is a fool^H^H^H^Hfine upstanding member of the community!"
Each ^H means "delete a character backwards".
Superstars use ^W to delete whole words at a time:
"My personal prejudice^Wexperience suggests that [...]"
- The resident group deity. For example, "Thank Kay she didn't do it
with a banana!"
- The resident group Evil Incarnate.
- Common mislepping of "newsgroup". Yes, it is intentional.
- A joke message designed to fool people into flaming the poster.
Try to ignore them.
- Used to inform someone that they have messed up and are now
resident in a kill-file
7. What's a boink?
It's like a bash, only cuter.
A boink is a get-together of people from the group. These highlights of the
geek social calendar happen whenever people get around to organising them, but
usually about once every two months, on average.
One particularly successful boink that has happened three years in a row now
is Auchenboink, organised by Simon Brooke, and held at his house in
For those living within travelling distance of Bradford there is a monthly
to make sure it's definitely on when you think it is.
8. Are there uk.singles pages on the Web?
There most certainly are! See
http://www.mimir.com/singles/#singles-info for a list of them.
9. [*] What's the difference between a nerd and a geek?
Some people on uk.singles like geeks, but not nerds. According to
Nick Leverton, the difference
is that a geek is a nerd who knows the difference between a nerd and a geek.
10. [*] All these in-jokes and flaming of newcomers: you're just a bunch of
Some of the people who post have been regulars here for over four
years. They've met each other many times, so it's not surprising
that it can seem hard to break in. But lots of people do seem to
manage it - whenever you may be reading this, it's a certainty that
at least one of those "regulars" will have made their first posting
within the last few weeks. Many of us try to make a point of
welcoming genuine new posters - and the more so if they make an
attempt to join in the conversations.
We do get fed up with adverts, which are NOT permitted here.
Sometimes this spills over and someone who just wanted to join in
gets roasted - especially if a regular poster has had a bad day and
misinterprets a newcomer's post. This is sad, and we have periodic
group omphaloskepsis about it.
Not everyone gets a reply first time (it took the author of this bit
about a dozen postings over a fortnight before anyone replied). But
if you like the conversation, stick around, read and take part. As
with life, you get out of a newsgroup what you put into it. If you
want to make real, lasting friends, this is a good place to do it.
The original FAQ was written and maintained for the first three years of
the group's history by
Duncan Campbell. You can find it at
This version is currently falling into disrepair under Pete Bevin.
Although Nick Leverton
supplied the text for question 10 and James Kemp tidied up a few
other wee bits.
Thanks to Paul Carpenter for
posting the FAQ to the group regularly.