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A style guide for message posting
Richard Linde, 9 April 2007

On Husky message boards in the past, posters were given wide latitude in their posts. Now the webmasters have tightened up the type of posts they will accept. For example, name calling, profanity, and uncivil behavior will not be tolerated in one’s messages anymore. We fans are encouraged to respectfully agree to disagree with one another. Airing dirty laundry for all to see is verboten; instead, we are encouraged to use e-mail to voice our complaints, sending them in the background to the monitoring honchos.

This style guide applies to blog entries and e-mails, as well as user message boards.

In the spirit of this new paradigm, may I suggest that posters add more pithiness to their posts. In this endeavor, please …

  • Always spell check your post. Misspelled words will drive the reader to his whit’s end.

  • Run your message through a grammar checker. Using dangling participles, grammar checkers will ferret them out.

  • Consult an online dictionary when using two-bit words or phrases, like “high dungeon.”

  • Remember, a post is only as good as it's weakest link.

  • Don't post nerdish stuff; flush the "404s" out of you're links, lest you be called a 404 [1].

  • Always choose the correct word, lest you be called a language maven, like Bill Safire.

  • Watch "its and it's," "your" and "you're," "who's" and "whose," and "their and there's." Be kind to newbies; teach them whose boss.

  • No swearing. And don't mask your d*m*ed swear words with asterisks.

  • Add metaphors and similes to your writing style so your writing sled is not stuck in the mud.

  • A sentence expresses a complete. Go back over your paragraphs and take the periods out to avoid run-on sentences.

  • Overuse, of commas, should be avoided.

  • No name calling. If some jerk calls you a name, don't go after the SOB both barrels.

  • Don't bait people with your posts, unless your name is Norman.

  • Don't be paranoid by reading something into a message that isn't there, unless it makes a hidden innuendo directed at you. 

  • Avoid a malapropism as you would a rapid dog.

  • Avoid the farther/further conundrum to farther your efforts.

  • Remember lie means to lie; lie means to recline or to lay and lay means to put down a liar, e.g., putting an object down, as in putting someone in his place.

  • Research your posts by fact checking. Remember, in the mainland they say "lie, lay, lain" and "lay, laid, laid." You can say "lei" in Hawaii but not in Alaska, where they say layed.

  • Don’t confuse words, for example, as in “as” or “like.”

  • Don't send or post html (hate mail).

  • Delete your cutting remarks with cut and then paste.

  • No puns, please. Choose the correct link or URL be in trouble. Don't run off at the mouse.

  • For posts noir, darken your text with CTRL+A, then left click in empty space to lighten up.

  • Use the esc key to run from a series of confrontational posts.

  • Always choose the correct emoticon. ;-)

  • Avoid using trite slang words and phrases; dodge heated exchanges by keeping your cool.

  • Don't be a popinjay. For more pithy posting, shorten your sentences and paragraphs -- cut out the dead wood -- lest the reader don a lugubrious expression during his or her reading of your post and respond acerbically in an attempt to sully your reputation on the message board of your choosing, the reading of which could affect other posters in their responses to your future missives because of that one response to you that you failed to prevent by being pithy in your original post on that message board, which some carefully read with subsequent derogation and humiliation in mind in order to make themselves seem superior to others because on that day, their heads held high, their jaws to light, they were having a lantern-jawed testosterone fit, as in being egotistical.

Examples of a pithy post:

In the words of Harvey Penick, Joe Pyne and Mills Lane (with a slight alteration): Take dead aim; straight ahead; let’s get it on, Huskies.

or...

Figuratively standing with their arms akimbo, impatient fans wait for their once glorious Dawgs to return to the front of the pack. Oh, yeah, count me in.

Mal's words of the week:

-- Akimbo -- arms bent at the elbows, hands on hips.

Why do golfers a short distance behind me lean on a club with one arm akimbo as I line up my shot?

-- Popinjay -- a strutting supercilious person. As Frasier or Niles might say, "Tyrone must find a way to cut the Gordian Knot that has become the offensive line."

[1.] We've all seen this message:

Error 404: File not found.

Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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