Unwritten rules of the SDMB

Every message board I’ve been on has certain posting standards that everyone
seems to agree with, such that someone not holding to these standards usually
stands out as a clueless newb. I’ll start with two:

No “LOL!”-type responses to another’s joke. If the post was genuinely funny,
respond in kind with another gag, or don’t respond at all. If it was bad, ignore it
completely (which often means you aren’t sure if the joke went over well with your
intended audience or not).

Very spare use of smilies. Some boards have smilies all over the place. Here, if you
must use a smiley, no more than one per post, and only if it will perfectly punctuate
the point you are making.

Alliteration always annoys anyone attending.

We have a dedicated forum with sticky threads in it for just this purpose. See http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=2

Those are WRITTEN rules.

Where in the stickies do you find a rule against the use of “LOL!”?

No l33t speak!

Some more unwritten rules:
[ul][li]Don’t use colorful fonts or difficult-to-read fonts.[/li][li]Write with at least a modicum of proper grammar and spelling.[/li][li]Don’t use “internet” spellings like “u” for “you”.[/li][li]It’s customary to bold usernames in posts.[/li][li]NO leet speek![/li]Don’t write in all caps.[/ul]

For some reason people expect you to have a point even when the category calls for pointlessness.

Arguments should be conducted using reason and logic, with specific examples and citations wherever possible. Members are expected to keep their tempers and behave politely even when faced with opinions with which they violently disagree.

Kitten threads must always include links to pictures of kittens.

No top-posting, thank God. It happens extremely rarely here, which is a blessing.

In reference to my previous post, another unwritten rule is that you should read the OP (including the title) before posting. :wink:

What the heck is that?

Top posting is posting a reply before, rather than after, the quoted material.

This is an example of top-posting. More common in email that on a message board.

Of course you realize that by writing these down, they are ceasing to be unwritten rules. :smack:

jjimm’s theory: metaphors and similies on the SDMB are stamped upon by literal-minded people unless they refer precisely to the thing being analogised. To the tiresome extent that you can really only ever draw an analogy with the thing itself. “This car steers like a cow” would be rejoindered: “how can you say that, since a cow has four legs and runs on grass, and a car has four wheels and runs on gas?!”

No “First!” posts in response to long OPs.

Something that certain new posters do which annoys me incredibly, though I don’t know how the rest of the forum feels about it, is answer every single question at a low level. Yeah, okay, you answered a question and what you said was technically correct. It wasn’t, however, a thoughtful, educated gem.

I occasionally throw out a low-level answer if it is categorically different from the previous answers, or if an OP has been sitting there for a while and nobody has jumped in–I figure I may as well start the party. But almost always, I figure that while I could post an answer to the question, someone else capable of writing a much longer, more detailed, more informative answer will be along any minute. So I just keep my trap shut.

It also bugs the hell out of me when people post three, four, five, six times in a row, usually replying to three, four, five, six earlier posts. Consolidate, for pete’s sake.

Not so much a rule as a reality… the reply box (either Quick or Advanced) will wrap your text for you and make it fit the screen, there is no need to hit enter at the end of a line and make it look like the post in the OP.

An unwritten rule seems to be

Use “its” when you mean “it is” and use “it’s” when you refer to possession,

no matter what they should have tot you in skool.

Fighting Ignorance Since 1973

Heh. I’ve gotten so used to doing this that I do it on other messageboards, and occasionally I’ve had someone think I was trying to insult them–that the bolding meant I was saying their name with sarcastic emphasis or something.


All cat posts must contain pictures!