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CNET departments: reviews: shoot out

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*Like countries, every chat environment has its own conventions. And certain regulations, plus a large dollop of conversation shortcuts, are common to all sites. Always observe the following guidelines.

play by the rules
Microsoft Network and America Online have guidelines banning profanity, racist remarks, threats, and harassment; those who indulge in these can be banned from the chat area. IRC channels also have ground rules. Follow them.

don't hog the conversation
Unless you're familiar with the channel, it's best to hang out and listen to the conversation for a while before jumping in. (Start with a hello.) If you have a long thought to express, don't type in the whole paragraph; cut it up with elipses (Yesterday I heard a funny joke...It was about an old lady and a dog...).

don't ignore people
Remember that chat is a social arena, so just as in real life, talk with your fellow chatters. If someone asks how you're doing, give an answer.

learn the lingo
Aside from smileys (expressions made by using characters on the keyboard : ) for smile, : ( for frown, ; ) for wink, {{ }} for hug, and so on), chatters use all sorts of abbreviations. Below are some of the most frequently used chattisms:

symbol
Y
U
C
BRB
<g>
<bg>
<vbg>
BTW
CWYL
FWIW
GIWIST
HHOK
HTH
HTHBE
IMHO
IMNSHO
IOW
IRL
ITRW
LOL
OTP
OTF
OIC
OTOH
POV
RL
ROTFL
RTFM
TTFN
TTYL
WRT
translation
why
you
see
be right back
grin
big grin
very big grin
by the way
chat with you later
for what it's worth
gee I wish I'd said that
ha ha only kidding
hope this helps
hope this has been enlightening
in my humble opinion
in my not-so-humble opinion
in other words
in real life
in the real world
laughing out loud
on the phone
on the floor
oh, I see
on the other hand
point of view
real life
rolling on the floor laughing
read the f-ing manual
ta ta for now
talk to you later
with regard to


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