1.1 - Basic History

Newsgrouped during the third week of March 1990,, a Usenet newsgroup, is a free forum for discussing various aspects of the television series The Simpsons.

A separate mailing list also exists for discussing the show, Simpsons-L.

1.2 - Frequently Used Acronyms

 Acronym             Translation

a.t.s.    -  The Usenet newsgroup
AFAIK     -  As Far As I Know
BTW       -  By The Way
CBG       -  Comic Book Guy
CGtOFF    -  Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family
CMB       -  Charles Montgomery Burns
DYN       -  Did You Notice, Didja Notice
FFF, FF   -  Freeze-Frame Fun
I & S       -  Itchy and Scratchy
IIRC      -  If I Recall Correctly, If I Remember Correctly
IMHO, IMO -  In My (Humble) Opinion
IYKWIM    -  If You Know What I Mean
LIH       -  "Life in Hell" (MG's comic strip)
LOL       -  Laughing Out Loud
MG        -  Matt Groening
OFF       -  Our Favorite Family (The Simpsons, of course)
OTOH      -  On the Other Hand
ROFL(MAO) -  Rolling On the Floor Laughing (My Ass Off)
SLH       -  Santa's Little Helper (the Simpsons' family dog)
SNPP      -  Springfield Nuclear Power Plant
SNUH      -  Springfieldians for Non-violence, Understanding and Helping
THOH      -  Treehouse of Horror episode
TMTSR     -  To Make This Simpsons Related
TTUS      -  The Tracey Ullman Show
WRT       -  With Regard(s) To, With Respect To
WTF       -  What The [Heck]
YS        -  Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa)
Other Terms:
Production Code  -  The four character number given to each episode.
P-Code           -  Production Code, ie: 7G08, 7F24, 2F05. (See Sec 4.3)
Couch Gag        -  Part of the title sequence when the family runs
                    into the house and something unusual happens.
Ref              -  Reference, where an event or scene in the show 
                    parodies another show, movie, or event.
Blackboard Quote -  What Bart writes on the chalkboard at the beginning
                    of the title sequence
Cutoff           -  The last thing Bart writes on the chalkboard as he is
                    dismissed from school in the title sequence.
Episode Capsule  -  A compilation file for each episode.  (See Sec 6.1)

1.3 - How Do I Pronounce ...

GRAY-ning. In one of the Life In Hell strips and in the Rolling Stone article, MG mentioned that it rhymes with "complaining"; the Newsweek article rhymes his name with "raining". Common mispronunciations include "Groan-ing" and "Gray-nig".

YARD-lee. "Yeardley" is a variant spelling of the British name "Yardley", whose pronunciation is non-problematical. The name was derived from her father, Joseph Yeardley Smith, a long-time columnist for the Washington Post, and is actually her middle name, as her full name is Martha Maria Yeardley Smith.

CHEW-po. As in Klasky-Csupo, The Simpsons' animation house for several of its early years. In one Tracey Ullman sketch, Bart makes a visit to Mr. Chupo's (sic) candy store.

1.4 - Topics That Tend To Go Nowhere

As with most newsgroups, certain threads have been beaten to death. These issues generally revolve around topics that are based on individual interpretations of the evidence presented. As such, there are no set answers, and a large percentage of the readers have either already made up their minds on the subject, or have been bombarded with the topic before. staff member Ben Collins ran an annual poll on during the summer hiatus to give an update on the current "Best/Worst Episode/Season Ever" consensus, in an effort to provide conclusive collective opinions on some of the Topics That Tend to Go Nowhere which plague See the results of his polls at

The following is a list of topics which sufficiently meet the requirements for being a "topic that tends to go nowhere." As such, it is recommended that you avoid them.

  • Favorite [insert character name] Quotes
  • Favorite Episodes
  • [insert episode name] is the Best/Worst Ever
  • [insert character name] Sucks/Rules
  • [insert season number] was the Best/Worst Season Ever
  • Character development is better than cheap gags
  • Reality vs. Surrealism
  • If you don't like the way the show is headed, then stop watching it
  • You shouldn't complain about new episodes, everything else on TV sucks
  • Stop complaining about new episodes, one day the show won't be here to complain about anymore
  • Smithers is gay, bisexual or Burns-sexual
  • We tied onions to our belts, which was the style at the time
  • Family Guy/Futurama/King of the Hill/South Park/etc. rules/sucks, is better/worse than The Simpsons

If you absolutely insist on discussing these topics, please approach them with caution. Simpsons fans, particularly in recent years, have become very divided about the show's quality and direction and both sides tend to get very passionate and heated. It is best recommended that all episode reviews and comments be taken with a grain of salt. Simpsons fans are a loyal group with a reputation for having high standards. There is bound to be severe disagreement from time to time over what makes the show good or bad to different people. It is strongly asked that any conflicts that become personal be taken out of the newsgroup and into private e-mail or elsewhere.

In addition, it is wise to avoid fanning the flames of posters who are intentionally starting inflammatory threads simply to elicit an angry response by not responding to them. These are called trolls, and even isn't immune to them. Typical threads from trolls in the past include "The Simpsons should be cancelled" and "Lisa has a proto-dyke Marxist Jew agenda."

1.5 - Netiquette

With the above in mind, you're headed for some great discussions, fun and friendships with your fellow a.t.s. denizens. So get posting!

On to Section II
Back to the Table of Contents

Copyright © 2003 by Tammy Hocking & Matt Rose (See Sec 7.3)

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Last updated on March 17, 2004 by
Tammy Hocking ( & Matt Rose (

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