A style guide for message postingRichard 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
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 .
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
Overuse, of commas, should
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
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
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
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.
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
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